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Domenico Pozzovivo has found a home for 2022 at Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. Eagle eyes spotted that after weeks of rumours, the Italian’s status has changed on the UCI website, confirming his return to the WorldTour ranks a few months after his last team Qhubeka-NextHash came to an unfortunate end.
Pozzovivo’s future had been up in the air since Qhubeka-NextHash, which he’d called home for two years, was first (first time in 2021 at least) indicated to be in trouble last summer. The South Africa-registered team was subsequently not granted a pro license by the UCI, and Pozzovivo was one of a number of riders left scrambling for a 2022 contract. As the new year and the new season got underway, it looked less and less good for the veteran rider, but Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux came to his rescue.
The 39-year-old Italian brings 15 years of Grand Tour experience with him to the Belgian team. Pozzovivo has never gone a year without starting his home race, the Giro d’Italia – he has a handful of GC top-10s and a 2012 stage win on his palmarès – and he’s started both the Tour de France and Vuelta a España three times each. For at least ten years of his career, he was ever-present in the GC conversation, while more recently he’s balanced personal goals with working for others.
At Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, Pozzovivo will slot into the stage racing squad, linking up with the likes of 2021 Vuelta a España stage winner Rein Taaramäe, GC rider Jan Hirt, and former teammate Louis Meintjes as the sophomore WorldTour outfit take on some of the biggest stage races of the year.