The first bearer of the 2007 Giro d'Italia's maglia rosa, Enrico Gasparotto, is leaving the Liquigas ProTour squad in favour of the Pro Continental Team Barloworld for the 2008 season. The 25 year-old from the north-eastern Friuli region of Italy signed agreed a one-year contract with team manager Claudio Corti.
Gasparotto was forced to defend himself after taking the pink jersey in the opening team time trial, when he crossed the line ahead of team leader Danilo Di Luca. He quickly handed over the jersey to Di Luca on the next stage before helping his fellow Italian to the overall win.
An excellent sprinter, Gasparotto took second overall in the Post Denmark Tour. He'll reinforce the sprinting power of the team along with South African Tour stage winner Robbie Hunter and new signing Baden Cooke of Australia.
"Gasparotto can be trusted to get results in the races that suit him and will be vital to the team if our race calendar includes two major stage races," Claudio Corti said.
Gasparotto has been a professional since 2005 and has three professional wins, including the Italian National Championship in 2005. Before becoming a cyclist he was an excellent football player and was part of the AC Milan youth team.