Matteo Tosatto’s professional career hangs in the balance after he failed to reach an agreement with Trek-Segafredo for the 2017 campaign. The 42-year-old Italian has been a professional since 1997 and remains in negotiations with two WorldTour teams as he bids to extend his career to a 21st season.
"I'm in talks with two WorldTour teams but there's nothing concrete at the moment. I could accept an offer but I won't drop down to certain conditions," Tosatto told Tuttobici. "Over the years I've shown my value and my professionalism. I know that the directeurs sportifs of these teams want me, but in today's cycling, a DS doesn't count for anything – it's the manager who decides, and, more and more, they have difficulties stretching the budget they have been given."
Tosatto spent the past six seasons at Tinkoff, having previously raced for MG-Technogym, Ballan, Fassa Bortolo and QuickStep. The man from Castelfranco Veneto claimed a stage win in nearby Montebelluna at the 2001 Giro d’Italia and won a stage into Macon at the 2006 Tour de France.
In recent seasons, Tosatto has been a key domestique for Alberto Contador, often serving as the Spaniard’s 'bodyguard' on flat stages, most notably during the 2015 Giro, when he helped Contador limit his losses following a crash in the finale at Jesolo. Tosatto had expected to join Contador at Trek-Segafredo in 2017, but a contract failed to materialise.
"I'd like to have finished my career differently. I could have stopped at the end of the Tour de France this year, but instead I was persuaded to ride another year at Alberto's side. But in the end, nothing was concluded with Trek, I honestly don't know why," Tosatto said. "I was hoping to ride for another year at the top level, but now we're in November and the places available are few."
Although Tosatto retains hope of returning to the professional peloton in 2017, he has begun to prepare for life after he hangs up his wheels. The Italian has already started attended training courses to become a directeur sportif.
"For 2017, if none of the negotiations work out, I'd like to help some teams during important events, but without making any hasty decisions," Tosatto said. "For 2018, on the other hand, I’d like to be part of a more concrete project, and full-time. I’m thinking about an important team, or working with young riders, to make use of the experience that I've gathered over these last 20 years."