Dutch team Vacansoleil has confirmed its interest in signing Riccardo Riccò. The Italian climber is currently negotiating with several teams after having bought himself out of his Flaminia contract for 75,000 Euro.
"There are about four teams interested in him as far as I know," Vacansoleil team manager Daan Luijkx told the Telegraaf. "And we are one of them."
Other than the Professional Continental team, the Belgian Quick Step outfit of Patrick Lefevere has also confirmed that it would consider signing the controversial rider if its sponsor gives it the green light. Riccò was handed a two-year doping ban in 2008 after testing positive for CERA at the Tour de France. He returned to competition in March of this year and won the Tour of Austria in July.
"Judging from his rider profile, Riccardo fits perfectly in our team," added Luijkx, who just lost another promising climber - French Brice Feillu. "Riccò is a pure attacker and a rider able to go for the general classification in the Grand Tours."
It is no secret that the Italian would like to participate in the upcoming Vuelta a España, but Vacansoleil has not been given a wildcard for the Spanish Grand Tour. This lack of guarantees for the greatest races of the pro cycling calendar, which was also the reason why Feillu will leave the team at the end of 2010, may also be a problem in the contract negotiations with Riccò.