Bettini: "Tafi Needs to find something else to do, than race Roubaix"

Paolo Bettini has blasted 52 year old former teammate Andrea Tafi's decision to race Paris-Roubaix

At 44, 10 years after retirement, he says he has no plans on trying to return like fellow Italian Tafi. “To Andrea I say, I hope you don’t race, you need to do something else in your life at 52 years old,” Bettini told the Italian press.

Teammate Bettini raced for Mapei and won Monuments Milan-San Remo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia. 

“He’s gaining media attention with this, but it’d be better to think about leaving the place open to a younger rider. Doing it this way, he’s stealing someone’s spot.”

Photo: Paolo Bettini left and former teammate Andrea Tafi right

Photo: Paolo Bettini left and former teammate Andrea Tafi right

Tafi announced in October that he is in the UCI anti-doping testing pool so that he is free to sign a deal to race for a team on April 14. He conquered the cobbled roads in northern France to win in 1999. His last participation, 14 years ago, he placed 42nd racing for Team Saunier Duval.

>>> 52 year old Andrea Tafi to ride Paris-Roubaix 20 years after his victory <<<

“In 20 years, cycling changed a lot,” Tafi said in October. “I’d like to do it again with all the new technology and knowledge. I’m a man of challenges, and so why stop myself?”

He is reportedly linked to a team that could field him just for Paris-Roubaix, and perhaps some lead-up races. Some have connected him to Team Dimension Data with Mark Cavendish.

A Italian bookmaker hasalready launched special odds for Tafi in the Roubaix velodrome. It has him at 350/1 for the win, 150/1 for a podium finish and 50/1 for a top-10 finish.

“I did a test the other day, producing a peak of 375 watts at a 166 heart rate,” Bettini continued.

Tafi won Paris-Roubaix in 1999.