Paolo Bettini was a one-day specialist who won many races because of his strength and top sprint. He was nicknamed Il Grillo (“The Cricket”) for his sudden attacks on the road. Bettini won the UCI Road World Cup for three consecutive years (2002-04), was World Champion on the road in 2006-07 and won the gold medal in the road race at the 2004 Olympics. His many one-day palmarès included the 2000 and 2002 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Giro di Lombardia in both 2005-06, Milano-Sanremo and the Clásica de San Sebastián in 2003, and he won Züri-Metzgete in both 2001 and 2005. Never a factor for general classification at the grand tours, Bettini did win one stage at the Tour de France, two at the Giro d’Italia, and five at the Vuelta à España, His only major stage win was the Tirreno-Adriatico in 2004.