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Italian Championships - CN

Friuli Venezia Giulia, June 20-25, 2006

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Day 6 - June 25: Elite men road race, 233 km

Bettini wins second Italian title

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

Bettini is a happy man
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Far from his home in Tuscany, Quick.Step's Paolo Bettini sprinted to his second Italian pro title ahead of Mirko Celestino and Danilo Di Luca on a broiling hot day in northeastern Italy's Friuli region. Bettini was the strongest man on a day that had his favorite weather, 35 degree heat similar to the day he won his Olympic title in Athens almost two years ago. "Today was really hot and hard, harder than I thought it would be," he said. "I wanted to prove something by winning here today." Bettini recently re-signed with Quick.Step and will now wear the prestigious maglia tricolore at the Tour de France starting next Saturday in Strasbourg, France.

On the final tour of the tough 18km circuit that ascended the San Floriano del Collio climb, Bettini went on the attack and exploded the race with 10km left. He was eventually joined by ten other riders; Celestino (Milram), Di Luca and Garzelli (Liquigas-Bianchi), Mazzanti (Ceramica Panaria), Nocentini (Aqua Sapone), Giunti (Naturino), Ballan (Lampre-Fondital), Caucchioli (Credit Agricole), Moreni (Cofidis) and Bailetti (Androni).

After a series of attacks and counter-attacks, the front group was together in the final kilometer, where Bettini was hard pressed by Celestino in the sprint but took the tricolore jersey for the second time in his career. Runner-up Celestino, coming back from a broken shoulder was not too disappointed afterwards, saying, "I was beaten by the strongest rider today, so there was nothing to do against Bettini. I rode well and I'm happy with that." Bronze medalist Danilo Di Luca made the podium in the Italian pro championships after a disappointing Giro d'Italia and will now head to the Tour De France. Post-race, Di Luca explained that "I think I rode a good race today and I'm happy the way it came out."

Mirko Celestino (Milram), Paolo Bettini (Quickstep Innergetic), Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)


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Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti


1 Paolo Bettini (Quickstep-Innergetic)                        5.59.40 (38,936 km/h)
2 Mirko Celestino (Team Milram)
3 Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas)
4 Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital)
5 Stefano Garzelli (Liquigas)
6 Paolo Bailetti (Team Androni Giocattoli-3C Casalinghi)
7 Massimo Giunti (Naturino-Sapore di Mare)
8 Cristian Moreni (Cofidis-Le Crédit par Téléphone)
9 Pietro Caucchioli (Crédit Agricole)
10 Luca Mazzanti (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare)
11 Rinaldo Nocentini (Acqua & Sapone)
12 Filippo Pozzato (Quickstep-Innergetic)                        1.12
13 Paolo Bossoni (Team Tenax Salmilano)
14 Manuele Mori (Saunier Duval-Prodir)
15 Paolo Valoti (Team LPR)
16 Andrea Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone)
17 Antonio Quadranti (Naturino-Sapore di Mare)
18 Giuseppe Muraglia (Team LPR)                                  1.51
19 Emanuele Bindi (OTC Doors-Lauretana)                          1.57
20 Alessandro Bertolini (Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni)
21 Giovanni Visconti (Team Milram)
22 Andrea Tonti (Acqua & Sapone)                                 2.13
23 Daniele Callegarin (Team Androni Giocattoli-3C Casalinghi)
24 Pasquale Muto (Miche)
25 Alessandro Bertuola (Team Tenax Salmilano)
26 Mauro Facci (Barloworld)
27 Domenico Quagliarello (Ceramica Flaminia)
28 Gabriele Bosisio (Team Tenax Salmilano)
29 Gabriele Missaglia (Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni)
30 Giampaolo Cheula (Barloworld)
31 Matteo Tosatto (Quickstep-Innergetic)                         6.48
32 Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital)
33 Marco Marzano (Lampre-Fondital)
34 Alessandro Spezialetti (Liquigas)
35 Riccardo Ricco (Saunier Duval-Prodir)
36 Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre-Fondital)
37 Luca Solari (Team 3C Casalinghi Jet Androni Giocattoli)
38 Daniele Pietropolli (Team Tenax Salmilano)

Starters: 158
Classified: 38