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Merlo and Vitoria to join Footon-Servetto

Michele Merlo and David Vitoria have each signed a one-year contract with Mario Gianetti's Footon-Servetto team, according to Tuttobiciweb.

"At Footon I will be able to ride to the best of my abilities," said Merlo. "I ask only be able to continue to better myself in regards to what I accomplished at Barloworld."

Italy's Merlo, 25, leaves Barloworld after the team failed to find a replacement sponsor for 2010. He became a professional with the team at the beginning of this year and won the Tour of Britain's final stage in London in September.

He had an offer from British team Sky, but turned it down because Gianetti's Footon better suited him, he said.

Gianetti announced yesterday Footon would replace Fuji and Fuji-Servetto would become Footon-Servetto next season. The new sponsor enabled him to sign Merlo and Vitoria.

Switzerland's Vitoria, 25, joins from USA-based team Rock Racing. He won two stages and finished third overall in the Vuelta Mexico in March.

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