Di Luca insists he will ride for free at Katusha

Danilo Di Luca and Katusha manager Andrei Tchmil

Danilo Di Luca and Katusha manager Andrei Tchmil (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Danilo Di Luca has confirmed that he intends to ride for the Katusha team for free despite UCI rules stipulating a rider must e paid a minimum wage.

UCI rules specify that a professional rider must be paid a minimum of 49.500 Euro per year and the contract is checked and verified by the UCI accountants Ernst&Young.

However Di Luca insists he will not earn a penny and revealed that making a comeback will cost him 170,000 Euro, the amount the UCI has fined him for testing positive during the 2009 Giro d’Italia.

“I can confirm that I’m going to pay the fine of about 170,000 Euro the UCI wants and that Tchmil has really asked to register my contract with a salary of zero Euro,” he told Tuttobiciweb.

“By choosing to sign a contract with Katusha I’ve given up on a good contract that Astana offered me. But I liked the idea (offered by Katusha) and followed my instinct.”

Di Luca confirmed that he has signed his contract with Katusha today, in front of 500 school children and Don Marco Pozza, the priest who first persuaded him to talk about his doping.

“I agreed to take part in Don Marco’s project and I’m convinced about its goals because it’s about telling young people what happened to me and the mistakes I made,” he said.

Di Luca will join his new Katusha teammates in Calpe, Spain on Wednesday for a training camp.

He is expected to make his debut at the Challenge Mallorca in early February and then ride the Trofeo Laigueglia in Italy, the Giro di Sardegna, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Di Luca also hopes to ride the Tour of Basque Country, Fleche-Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and then the Giro d’Italia.

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