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Paolo Bettini Photo Gallery

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Major wins | Professional teams | Photos |

Italian cyclist Paolo Bettini (born April 1, 1974) was one of cycling's best-ever single-day racers. He has the rare distinction of having won consecutive world pro road championships (2006, 2007), a feat matched only by Georges Ronsee (1928, 1929), Rik van Steenbergen (1956, 1957), Rik van Looy (1960, 1961) and Gianni Bugno (1991, 1992). Fine company, indeed.

Though he won the points classification in two Giri d'Italia (2005, 2006), he was never in contention for the overall win in a Grand Tour and won only one Tour de France and two Giro stages. His real talent lay in shorter stage races and the classics.

Bettini retired at the end of an injury-troubled 2008 season. Following the death of Franco Ballerini later he took over the job of Italian National Coach in 2010, a job he held until 2014.

Major victories and high placings:

1998:

1999:

2000:

2001:

2002:

2003:

2004:

2005:

2006:

2007:

2008:

Professional Teams:

1997: MG Maglificio-Technogym
1998: ASICS-CGA
1999 - 2002: Mapei-Quick Step
2003 - 2004: Quick Step-Davitamon
2005 - 2007: Quick Step-Innergetic
2008: Quick Step

Nicknames: Il Grillo (the Cricket)

Photos:

Paolo Bettini races to San Marino in 1997 Tirreno-Adriatico

Paolo Bettini races to San Marino in the 1997 Tirreno-Adriatico. ©Sirotti

Bettini  climbs a hill in the 1998 Liege- Bastogne-Liege

Paolo Bettini climbs a hill in the 1998 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini

Bettini is in the green climber's after stage three in Forte de Marmi at the 1998 Giro d'Italia.©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini

No longer in green, Paolo Bettini time trials in Trieste during stage 15 of the 1998 Giro d'Italia. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini

1998 Giro d'Italia stage 18: Bettini doesn't seem to be enjoying his climb to Alpe di Pampeago. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini rides the 1998 Championship of Zurich

Bettini climbs a hill in the 1998 Championship of Zurich. The race, also called Züri Mezgete, is now organized solely for amateurs. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini in the 1998 Giro di Lombardia

Bettini (right, ASICS jersey) in the 1998 Giro di Lombardia. This might be the crest of the Ghisallo. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini descends in the 1999 Milano-San Remo

Paolo Bettini descends in the 1999 Milano-San Remo. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini in the 1999 Giro d'Italia

Bettini gets his bike worked on during stage one of the 1999 Giro d'Italia. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini in the 1999 Giro d'Italia

Bettini leaves the starthouse during stage 9 in Ancona of the 1999 Giro d'Italia. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini in the 1999 giro d'Italia

Bettini accepts a prize after stage 11 finished in Cesenatico in the 1999 Giro d'Italia. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini in the 1999 Giro di Lombardia

Paolo Bettini forces the pace in the 1999 Giro di Lombardia. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini in the 2000 Milano-San Remo

Bettini rounds a corner in the 2000 Milano-San Remo. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini wins the 1997 Liège=Bastogne-Liège

Bettini wins 2000 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini in the 2000 Tour de France

Bettini time trials to Futuroscope in stage 1 of the 2000 Tour de France. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini wins stage 9 of the 2000 Tour de France

Bettini wins stage 9 in Dax of the 2000 Tour de France. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini in the 2001 Tour de France

Bettini climbs to Aix-les-Thermes in stage 12 of the 2001 Tour de France. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini

Paolo Bettini wins 2002 Liège-Bastogne-Liège in front of teammate Stefano Garzelli. ©Sirotti

Bettini rides the 2002 Giro prologue

Bettini rides the 2002 Giro d'Italia prologue in Groningen. ©Sirotti

Charly Gaul and Pauil Bettini

That sure looks like Charly Gaul with Paul Bettini at the start of 2002 Giro stage 4 in Esch sur Alzette in Luxembourg. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini and Stefano Garzelli

Paolo Bettini leads maglia rosa and teammate Stefano Garzelli in stage 5 of the 2002 Giro d'Italia. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini in the 2003 Het Volk

Bettini talks to the team car during the 2003 Het Volk. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini

Bettini at the start of the 2003 Milano-San Remo

Paolo Bettini and Mario Cipollini

Bettini and world road champion Mario Cipollini relax a bit during the 2003 Milano-San Remo. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini

The Cricket triumphs in front of Mirko Celestino in the 2003 Milano-San Remo. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini wins the 2003 Milano-san Remo

Another view of the 2003 Milano-San Remo finish. That is teammate Luca Paolini behind in the Quick Step kit also raising his arms in triumph. ©Sirotti

Bettini in the 2003 Giro d'Italia

Bettini climbs to La Punt in stage 5 of the 2003 Giro d'Italia. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini wins the 2003 italian Road Champinships

Paolo Bettini wins the 2003 Italian road championships. ©Sirotti

Paolo Betttini

The presentation jersey they had ready for the 2003 road championships was a bit big for the Cricket. ©Sirotti

Bettini at the 2003 Tour de France teams presentation

Paolo has a better fitting tricolor jersey at the 2003 Tour de France teams presentation ceremony. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini

Bettini leaves the starthouse at the 2003 Tour de France prologue in Paris. ©Sirotti

Bettini wins 2003 HEW Cyclassics

2003 HEW Cyclassics in Hamburg: Bettini beats Davide Rebellin (left in Gerolsteiner kit) and Jan Ullrich (behind, in Bianchi jersey). ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini wins 2003 Clasica San Sebastian

Paolo Bettini wins the 2003 Clasica San Sebastian. That's Ivan Basso on the right, getting second. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini

Bettini wins stage 2 of the 2004 Tour Méditerranéen in Hyeres. ©Sirotti

Bettini wins stage four of Tirrreno-Adriatico

Stage 4 of the 2004 Tirreno-Adriatico: Bettini wins in Paglieta. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini wins stage 6 of the 2004 Tirreno-Adriatico

Bettini narrowly beats Oscar Freire in stage 6 of the 2004 Tirreno-Adriatico. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini wins stage 8 of the 2004 Tour of Switzerland

Paolo Bettini wins one on a wet day, stage 8 of the 2004 Tour of Switzerland. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini

2004 Tour de France stage 17: Bettini climbs to Le Grand Bornand. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini wins 2004 GP Citta di Camaiore

A solo victory for Bettini in the 2004 GP Citta di Camairore. ©Sirotti

Bettini wins the 2004 Olympic mens' road race

One of Paolo Bettini's signature accomlishments: Here he wins the 2004 Olympic road race in Athens. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini

2005 Giro d'Italia stage 4: Bettini was first across the line but was relegated to 4th because he didn't hold his line in the sprint. He ran Baden Cooke (FDJ) into the barriers. Cooke crashed but was able to walk the final meters across the line. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini wins 2005 Giro di Lombardia

2005 Giro di Lombardia: Bettini wins, Gilberto Simoni second and Frank Schleck third. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini

Bettini on the Molenberg in the 2006 Ronde van Vlaanderen. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini in the 2006 ronde van Vlaanderen

Bettini on the Taaienberg in the 2006 Tour of Flanders. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini wins the 2006 World chamoionship road race

Bettini wins the 2006 world road race championship in Salzburg, Austria. ©Sirotti

Bettini in the 2007 tour iof Flanders

Bettini (in rainbow jersey) climbs in the 2007 Ronde van Vlaanderen. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini wins the 2007 world road race championships

Bettini does it again! Here he wins the 2007 world road race championship in Stuttgart, Germany. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini

Bright and shiny in his rainbow kit, world champion Paolo Bettini rides in stage one of the 2008 Tirreno-Adriatico next to frequently disgraced racer Danilo Di Luca. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini and Daniele Benatti

2008 Giro d'Italia, stage 9: Daniele Bennati (green Liquigas jersey) throws his bike just a little further than Bettini did to give Bennati the stage win. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini in the2008 Giro

Paolo Bettini climbs the Passo Fadaia in the 2008 Giro d'Italia. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini wins the 2008 Trofeo matteotti

2008 Trofeo Matteotti: Bettini just beats Francesco Reda and Pasquale Muto and is about to raise his arm in triumph. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini in the 2008 Vuelta a Espana

Stage 5 of the 2008 Vuelta a España: Paolo Bettini time trials to Ciudad Real. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini wins in Toledao

Bettini wins the next Vuelta stage in Toledo. ©Sirotti

Paolo Bettini in 2011

2011 Tirreno-Adriatico: Paolo Bettini talks with Tom Boonen. ©Sirotti

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