Team Barloworld has signed Italy's Enrico Gasparotto for the 2008 season. The 25 year-old from the north-eastern Friuli region of Italy has agreed a one-year contract with team manager Claudio Corti after racing for the Liquigas team in recent years. Gasparotto turned professional 2005 and won three races. Before becoming a cyclist, he was part of the AC Milan youth football team.
This season Gasparotto wore the race leader's pink jersey at the Giro d'Italia after the opening team time trial won by Liquigas. He then helped team leader Danilo Di Luca win the final overall classification. Gasparotto has a reputation as a strong sprinter; he'll join Barloworld's other sprinters including Tour de France stage winner Robbie Hunter of South Africa and another 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," Corti said.