Following the surprise announcement by Paolo Bettini, that he would be stepping down as the Italian nation team coach, Davide Cassani has mentioned as a likely successor.
Indeed, the president of the Italian Cycling Federation, Renato Di Rocco, has intimated to the media that Cassani is their first priority.
"It makes no sense to hide it: Cassani is the number one candidate," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "But there is still something to be considered, both by us and by him. In early January, we will meet to find the right deal. I think the mutual desire exists.
"We already thought about Cassani in 2010 when Franco Ballerini had to be replaced."
When contacted by the Italian media, Cassani said that he feels "pleasure and pride" by being mentioned as a potential successor of Bettini.
"Everyone knows my love for the Azzurri jersey and my history at the World Championships," he said.
"But from that to talks about me as the new coach… We will discuss it in early January. Before accepting an offer, I need to consider some aspects, especially those with Rai Sports, and I need to talk to director Mauro Mazza and Alexander Fabretti who is responsible for cycling."
Cassani rode professionally from 1982 to 1996 with such popular teams as Termolan, Santini Race, Gewiss, Ariostea, MG, Casino and Saeco. In addition, he was selected for the Italian national team to ride in nine World Championships. Since his retirement, he has become well known for his role as a commentator for the Italian public broadcaster RAI.
In a poll on the Italian newspaper’s website, Gazzetta dello Sport, Cassani received 38% of the votes ahead of Bugno (15%), Silvio Martinello (9%), Michele Bartoli (9%) and current Trek team manager Luca Guercilena (7%).
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