Mauro Gianetti may have Classics specialist Davide Rebellin's signature for his newly formed ProTour team. He will make an official announcement today, according to Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Gianetti could bring around 12 ex-Saunier Duval riders and Director Sportif Joxean Fernández Matxin with him to the new formation. His sponsor is based in Milano and produces electrical equipment.
"There have been advanced talks of Davide Rebellin's incorporation for a long time now, like that existed with Paolo Bettini," Matxin said to Cyclingnews.
Rebellin – winner of 2004 Liège-Bastogne-Liège and 2008 Paris-Nice – has been on the job hunt since Team Gerolsteiner announced it was leaving the sport. He would lead the team and Andrea Tonti, Davide Viganò and Oscar Gatto may also race at his side.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) recently granted Gianetti another ProTour licence. He will no longer licence the team under GM Bikes, holder of the ProTour licence for Scott-American Beef, formerly Saunier Duval-Scott. The team had riders Riccardo Riccò and Leonardo Piepoli in its roaster for 2008, both of whom tested positive in the Tour de France for doping before the team fired them.
"We will harden the internal anti-doping controls, because we are not willing to tolerate surprises like, unfortunately, occurred at the Tour of France," Matxin confirmed. (AS)