Filippo Pozzato experienced a troubling 2012 year which he would happily forget. Injuries, setbacks and a three-month suspension will be thankfully left behind when Pozzato lines up in 2013 in the colours of Lampre-Merida. The 31-year-old recently announced a three-year deal on Twitter after just a one-year stint at his current Farnese Vini-Selle Italia team.
Pozzato ended his season shortly after the Giro di Lombardia where he placed 71st. The Italian completed just 38 days of racing when he has averaged closer to 80 over the past six seasons. He also scored just one victory at the GP Industria & Artigianato - Larciano, accumulated 96 UCI points and placed 135th in the UCI's Europe Tour ranking.
Pozzato broke his collarbone at Tour of Qatar, bounced back in time for the spring classics and recorded a second-place at Tour of Flanders, crashed out of the Giro d’Italia with a broken hand and then was excluded from the London Olympics and world championships while under suspension from the Italian Olympic Committe for his involvement with the banned Dr. Michele Ferrari.
Pozzato then cut his season short due to inflammation to the patellar tendon in his right knee shortly after Lombardia. With such a disappointing season he’ll need to work hard during the winter months if he’s to return to the same form that saw him challenge Tom Boonen for the win at this year’s Tour of Flanders. He has however, rolled into the off-season with the confidence instilled by his new multiple-year deal with Lampre-Merida.
“Now it is official”, Pozzato said on Twitter. “I signed for Lampre Merida Team for next 3 yrs. As usual there will be critics and approvals from fans and medias. I can tell you that I think a lot (never waited until October to decide my new Teams) and Im confident about this choice. Now is important to face a great winter preparation with no problems so I will be ready to start in the best way the new season since November. Thank you to support me and Ciaooo ! Pippo.”