CIPOLLINI TIPS CAVENDISH FOR SUCCESS IN 2009

Mario Cipollini knows what he?s talking about when it comes to sprints and reckons Mark Cavendish will win even more in 2009. However he warned that Daniele Bennati will be Cavendish?s main rival because of his ability to handle climbs better the 23 year-old Brit.

Cipollini revealed to Cycling Weekly that he recently went training with Cavendish and Max Sciandri in Tuscany.

When asked by La Gazzetta dello Sport who is the number one sprinter in the peloton, Cipollini said: ?Cavendish is the most explosive sprinter. But that?s not the only thing that matter during a race. For example in a race like Milan-San Remo, a rider also needs to have resistance, good tactics and be able to climb. Daniele Bennati is a more complete rider and so is often fresher in sprints and so give more guarantees of a result but Cavendish is still young and has raced relatively little on the road. However what he did at the Giro and then at the Tour means he?s one of the greats.?

Cipollini is advising the new ISD team in 2009 and has been out training with the riders, including new signing Ian Stannard.

He has also revealed that he is creating a line- of high-tech cycling clothing which will be a mix between Rapha and Assos and use revolutionary materials. The ISD team could use the new kit later in the year with an official presentation planned for September.


BARTOLI CONFIRMS COMEBACK PLANS

Former classics winner Michele Bartoli has confirmed he plans to make a comeback and has revealed he has several offers or may even create his own team.

Bartoli denied he has agreed a deal with the new ISD team but according to La Gazzetta dello Sport the 38 year-old Tuscan could ride for ISD or perhaps Liquigas, Silence-Lotto and LPR. Bartoli claims he has a financial company that is interested in becoming a major sponsor, with an IT company and technical sponsors also ready to back a team.

Gazzetta revealed that Bartoli is now registered in the UCI?s Adams anti-doping system and reported that he will be able to ride the Giro d?Italia because the UCI has reduced the minimum time period before a rider can make a come back from six to four months.


ZABEL KEEPS ON WINNING

Erik Zabel officially competed in his last road race last October but is still racing and winning on the track. He teamed up with fellow German Leif Lampater this week to win the Bremen six-day.

The pair beat Olaf Pollack and Franco Marvulli by a few points, with Bruno Risi and Danny Stam a lap down.

Zabel is expected to continue his sprint consultancy work with Team Columbia in the next few weeks and travel to the Tour of Qatar to advise Mark Cavendish on how to take on Tom Boonen.


LADAGNOUS WINS IN AFRICA

The 2009 professional season is about to kick off in style at the Tour Down Under but Frenchman Matthieu Ladagnous (Francaise des Jeux) has already notched up a win in the first stage of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Congo, Africa.

He beat Filipe Cardoso, Pierre Rolland, Jérôme Coppel and Isidro Nozal after the five got away during the 88km stage.

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