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Piva to join Katusha as directeur sportif for 2012

Valerio Piva

Valerio Piva (Image credit: AFP)

Experienced Italian directeur sportif Valerio Piva will work for the Katusha team in 2012, according to media reports in Belgium. Piva has been a valued part of the HTC-Highroad team in recent years but has been snapped up by the Russian team after the demise of HTC-Highroad.

"Team Manager Andrei Tchmil asked me to become a directeur sportif for them," Piva was reported as saying in Het Laatse Nieuws. "There was also a Belgian team interested, but they were too late. It's a pity because I live in Belgium. But now I'm focused on working for Katusha."

On Monday HTC-Highroad team manager Rolf Aldag told Cyclingnews that all but three riders from the US-registered team have found places for 2012. He was also working hard to ensure staff members also found new positions with other teams.

Garmin-Cervelo announced the signing of Alex Rasmussen on Tuesday, while Mark Cavendish has revealed that he has decided which team he will ride for in 2012. Team Sky seems the favourite to land the Manxman but his name has also been linked to GreenEdge.

Other key riders such as Tony Martin and Mark Renshaw are close to deciding their futures, with the Australian linked to Rabobank. Martin is understood to have several offers.