For the third year in a row, Domenico Pozzovivo heads into mid-October searching for a contract for the upcoming season.
The Italian climber is currently with Israel-Premier Tech, signing with the team in March after a protracted search, but he has said he won’t wait so long this off-season.
Pozzovivo turns 41 in November and his 2023 palmarès isn’t all positive after COVID-19 forced him out of the Giro d’Italia before a bad crash at July’s Vuelta a Castilla y Leon took him out of action for two months with a broken rib and pneumothorax.
His two most recent moves – to Intermarché-Circus-Wanty in 2022 and to his current team for 2023 – have come after long searches culminating well after the start of the new season.
But speaking to WielerFlits ahead of Wednesday’s Giro del Veneto, the veteran said that he’ll make a decision about his future before the end of October, still having the motivation to continue his career.
“I don’t have a contract for next year yet,” he said. “After my last race this year, we’ll look further into that with my management. There are not many talks, so it’s definitely possible that I will stop,” he said.
“Honestly? I still have the legs and the motivation to continue, but if it doesn’t work out then I’ll quit. We’re probably going to make that choice by the end of October. If I have a contract by then, I’ll continue. Otherwise, I’ll quit.”
Despite his advanced years – Pozzovivo was this year the oldest man at WorldTour and ProTeam level – ‘the Flea from Policoro’ still racked up a series of positive racing results over the past two seasons.
In 2022 he finished top 10 at both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de Suisse, also podiuming at the Giro dell’Emilia. This year, despite major illness and injury disruptions, he finished sixth at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali, seventh at the CIC Mont Ventoux, and fifth at the Route d’Occitanie.
He closed out his campaign racing on home ground in Italy, with 14th at Giro dell’Emilia the best result from four races culminating in 19th place at the Giro del Veneto.
“Because of that injury at the end of July, I still feel like racing in these last few weeks,” Pozzovivo said. “I came back at the Giro dell’Emilia and my form is improving, so hopefully I can still show something.”
Last year, he switched to his current team after Intermarché-Circus-Wanty staged a mini clearout in order to build around Classics star Biniam Girmay, while the previous season saw him left without a team after the…