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Filippo Pozzato (Quick.Step) with Mario Cipollini on the podium
Team manager wants a mentor for Pozzato and Rodriguez
Katusha team manager Andrei Tchmil is hoping to convince Mario Cipollini to accept a role as a technical consultant with the Russian team, as he tries to get the better results from his riders in 2011.
Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez topped the UCI World Ranking and Filippo Pozzato is considered one of the stars of the sport but Tchmil is not satisfied with the results the team achieved in the 2010 season. The team won 20 races but missed out on success in the major classics.
"There were some great moments and some bad moments. But the results indicate that we're still missing something," Tchmil told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"What we've achieved so far is comforting because we built the team from scratch but we want to do even better and win even more. We need someone like Cipollini, but as a mentor."
Tchmil raced with Cipollini in the MG-Bianchi team in 1992 and 1993 and knows that behind his Playboy image, the former world champion and Milan-San Remo winner is a demanding perfectionist and who knows how to win races.
"I'd like someone in the team that can point out to Pozzato the mistakes that he makes," Tchmil explained.
"He's got class and talent but is just missing that little bit that makes a huge difference, probably a bit of extra determination. He doesn't seem to realise that time is going by and that he'll never get it back. It really hurts me to see him wasting so many chances. I was more aggressive, hungry. I knew I had to win, that nobody was going to give me anything for free and that I could never make excuses."
Cipollini refused to comment on Tchmil's proposal but worked with Pozzato when he was a consultant with the Liquigas team.
He is expected to meet with Tchmil later this week but will have to resolve any conflict of interest with his current role as consultant with the ISD-Neri team and his bike and clothing business in partnership with Giordana.