Enrico Franzoi signed a contract for two years with the BKCP-Powerplus team on Monday, leaving the ProTour Liquigas squad for the team of World Champion Niels Albert. The 27-year-old Italian 'cross champion will now be able to focus more on his specialty.
"Cyclo-cross is my priority," Franzoi told Sporza.be. "I chose BKCP because it is a strong team where I can quickly find my former level."
Franzoi's road season was cut short this year when he fell ill due to a bacterial infection in May. After taking the summer off to recuperate, he got back to racing cyclo-cross in October and had his best finish, a third place, at the Grand Prix de la Région Wallonne on Saturday.
The Italian champion will join the team for the first time on January 1, 2010.
Team manager Christophe Roodhooft is hoping that the addition of Franzoi will allow the team to win when Albert cannot be present.
"Last year when Albert was gone we had nobody who could contend for the podium. Now, with the addition of Franzoi, a former espoir world champion, we have that."
Franzoi was U23 world champion in 2003, and his best elite result came with a bronze medal in the 2007 world championships. He has been Italian 'cross champion nine times between the elite and espoir classes.
Albert was pleased to have another strong teammate. "I'm delighted with the arrival of Enrico. It may take some of the pressure off of my shoulders.
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