Skip to main content

One in five Italian riders still looking for a team

Image 1 of 3

Alesandro Petacchi (Lampre) and Alberto Loddo (Androni-Giocatolli) go mano-a-mano

Alesandro Petacchi (Lampre) and Alberto Loddo (Androni-Giocatolli) go mano-a-mano (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 2 of 3

Oscar Freire takes his first win since April at Paris-Tours

Oscar Freire takes his first win since April at Paris-Tours (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 3 of 3

Andrea Tonti (Carmiooro-NGC) i

Andrea Tonti (Carmiooro-NGC) i (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

One in five Italian riders has still to find a team for 2011 as a reduction in the number of Italian teams has left lesser-known riders scrambling for places in the peloton.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, who has scrutinised the numbers, 49 out of 226 Italian riders are still without a team, with the new season just days away. That is 21.6 per cent of the total.

While Danilo Di Luca has found a place at Katusha after completing his ban for blood doping, riders of the calibre of Angelo Furlan, Alberto Loddo and Andrea Tonti are still looking for a ride. Furlan finished a close second to Oscar Freire at last year’s Paris-Tours, while Tonti was part of the Italian team for the world championships in Australia.

Loddo has won 25 races during his nine-year career and beat Alessandro Petacchi in a sprint at the Giro di Sardegna last year while riding for Androni Giocattoli. He has revealed the costs of being a professional outweighed his salary.

“In 2010 I earned 1,600 Euro a month but considering all the costs, I ended up losing money,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It’s a pity because I beat Petacchi and think I deserved a contract. I had an agreement with Team Type 1 and everything seemed sorted out but I haven’t heard anything since then, not even from my agent. I’m not expecting any surprises and will soon have to start looking for job.”

Tonti is hopeful of finding a team in the next few days while Furlan has given himself a further 15 days before accepting his career is over.

“It’s all about a few centimetres,” Furlan said. “Freire just edged me out in the sprint, otherwise I’d have a team by now. Fortunately everyone knows what I’m like and I’m still training hard. I’ve given myself 15 days to find a team, otherwise I’ll throw in the towel and think about the future. I might have a chance of working for the Italian Federation as a contact between the off road and road sectors.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Stephen Farrand

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.