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Filippo Pozzato (Katusha)
Italian still to sign contract for 2012
Filippo Pozzato is riding the Tour of Poland as he tries to get his season back on track and secure a place in the Italian team for the world championships.
The Italian was competitive in the spring Classics but was left out of the Katusha line-up for the Giro d’Italia and then crashed heavily at the Tour of Belgium, fracturing his wrist and collarbone.
He was overlooked for a place in the Katusha team for the Vuelta a Espana after falling out with the Russian team and knows that he has only a slim chance of securing a place in the Italian team for Copenhagen.
"I’m gradually recovering and getting fit again after my injuries. I’m not competitive yet because it’s difficult after two months away from racing. But I’m trying to get back to my best for the end of the season,” he told Cyclingnews at the Tour of Poland.
“It’s going to be very difficult to earn a place in the Italian team because I’m not riding the Vuelta but that was the team’s decision. I’m trying to get fit by riding other races. It’ll be difficult but I’m motivated to try and end the season as well as I can.”
New team for 2012
Pozzato has already made it clear he will leave Katusha at the end of the season. He has clashed with team manager Andrei Tchmil several times and they have rarely seen eye to eye on race tactics and the way he approaches his major goals.
Several teams are reportedly interested in signing Pozzato for 2012. His name has been linked to the new Australian GreenEdge team, to Lampre-ISD – where he would work with former Mapei development coach Roberto Damiani and to Geox-TMC.
Pozzato revealed that Saxo Bank-SunGard and Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli have also shown an interest. Bjarne Riis is rebuilding his team after securing backing for the future, while the Professional Continental Farnese Vini team is looking for a new leader after conceding that Giovanni Visconti will move on in 2012.
Despite the UCI transfer window having now officially opened, Pozzato refused to reveal which team he will ride for in 2012, claiming he has still to sign his new contract.
“When I’ve signed, I’ll tell everyone,” he told Cyclingnews. “There are a lot of teams that are interested but I can’t say just yet.”