Out-of-contract climber Domenico Pozzovivo has said that he’s training as if his season is about to start “next week” as he continues to search for a new deal for 2023.
The Italian last raced for Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, but the Belgian team has let him go this season, preferring to focus their resources – and cash – on building around star Classics rider Biniam Girmay.
As he did last year following the collapse of Qhubeka-Assos, Pozzovivo finds himself once more looking for a team in February, a seemingly bizarre turn of events for a rider who finished top 10 at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de Suisse last season.
“I’m training as if my season starts next week,” Pozzovivo told Italian website Cicloweb (opens in new tab). “I gave myself a symbolic start date for the season, otherwise planning would have been complicated.”
Pozzovivo, who has been training on Mount Teide and Mount Etna during the off-season, is again fighting to continue his career, as he had in 2019 and again in 2021.
In 2019, he signed a deal with NTT at the end of December, months after being hit by a driver while training and suffering career-threatening injuries including arm and leg fractures.
Last season, he signed with Intermarché in mid-February following the demise of Qhubeka before going on to finish eighth at the Giro, putting in some key lead-out duty for stage winner Girmay along the way.
He then came ninth in Switzerland, as well as taking several strong results in the late-season Italian Classics – including third at the Giro dell’Emilia – before crashing out of his final race at Il Lombardia.
“Logic would say that the market will speak,” Pozzovivo said. “The last few seasons have always been difficult for me in terms of contracts, as I either found teams closing the market in December or I was coming to the start of February without a contract agreed.
“There may still be possibilities with WorldTour teams, but I don’t rule out racing for a ProTeam which has been invited to the Giro d’Italia. I haven’t closed the door on any hypothesis. In short, I just want to race an important calendar that has the Giro as the pivotal race.”
Pozzovivo’s former team Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè have an invite to the 2023 Giro, as do the relegated Israel-Premier Tech, Eolo-Kometa, and the new ProTeam Corratec. It remains to be seen if any of the wildcard quartet will extend an offer to the 40-year-old, who said that he didn’t expect such strong results last season.
“After eighth in…
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