LefevŠre concerned about Bettini

Paolo Bettini's anonymous start to the season has raised doubts about his readiness for Milan-San Re

Paolo Bettini's anonymous start to the season has raised doubts about his readiness for Milan-San Re
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM As Tom Boonen relinquished his Paris-Nice leader's jersey to Fassa Bortolo's Fabian Cancellara, Quick Step boss Patrick Lefevre today revealed his concerns about his team's Milan-San Remo preparation just 10 days before the first Classic of the season. Lefevre rated captain Paolo Bettini's performances in his three outings so far this season - the Challenge Majorca, Het Volk and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne - as "average, bad and very bad." Bettini has recently shaken off bout of the flu and today continued his recovery at the Tirreno-Adriatico. To compound Quick Step's woes, Filippo Pozzato and Italian champion Christian Moreni are also struggling to make up lost ground in Tirreno-Adriatico after recent illnesses. Another key component in Quick Step's Milan-San Remo plans, Luca Paolini, was forced out of the Italian stage race by a knee injury. "Is it too late for Bettini to get ready? Not yet, because a class rider like Paolo can turn things around in a couple of days," Lefevre said of the 2003 San Remo winner. "Last week, the Italians kept calling me to say that they couldn't train because of the bad weather. I decided that we would mobilise all of the mechanics, soigneurs and riders and hold a four-day training camp in Saint Aygulf on the Cote d'Azur. They did some good work - some endurance and climbing. We'll find out over the next week or so whether they can recover, and whether they have worked well over the winter." While Quick Step's Italian contingent flirts with disarray, tonight in Montlimar Lefevre could at least reflect happily on Boonen's brace of stage wins and two days in yellow. Notwithstanding Jaan Kirsipuu's impressive and out-of-character breakaway on Thursday, Boonen has looked by far the strongest sprinter on view in France. Unfortunately, while keeping tabs on Bettini and co in Italy, Lefevre will have noticed that Alessandro Petacchi and Oscar Freire have looked equally fleet-footed on the other side of the Mediterranean. Rendez-vous San Remo.
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