Stefano Garzelli will remain in cycling next season as sports director of Neri Sottoli, the team formerly known as Vini Fantini-Selle Italia. The 40-year-old former Giro d'Italia winner was persuaded to take the role by team manager Luca Scinto.
Garzelli ended his career with the fluorescent yellow team this year after racing the Giro d'Italia, a race he won in 2000, one final time. "It was my idea to ask him," Scinto told Gazzetta dello Sport. "It took me a bit of time to convince him, but in the end, Stefano accepted: I'm certain he has the qualities to do well. We are very different but we complement each other very well. His contribution will be crucial to the young riders."
Gazzetta also reports that Chris Horner's agent Michael Rutherford has contacted the Neri Sottoli squad, offering the 42-year old Vuelta d'España winner's services for next season. Horner is still without a team for 2014, but it remains to be seen if Neri Sottoli's estimated €2.5 million budget could stretch to meet his wage demands. Horner was reportedly previously offered to Europcar's manager Jean René Bernaudeau for €750,000 a year.
Scinto's team successfully applied for a Pro Continental licence for 2014 under the Yellow Fluo moniker, prior to Neri Sottoli's arrival as sponsor. The team currently has a roster of 17 riders for 2014, with with 14 Italians - Gianni Bellini, Giorgio Cecchinel, Francesco Chicchi, Daniele Colli, Samuele Conti, Andrea dal Col, Roberto de Parte, Andrea Fedi, Mauro Finetto, Luigi Miletta, Simone Ponzi, Mattia Pozzo, Matteo Rabottini and Mirko Tedeschi - Brazilian Rafael Andriato, Venezuela's Yonathan Monsolve and Ramon Carretero from Panama. According to Gazzetta, the team is still negotiating contract renewals with Fabio Taborre and Franceso Failli.
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