40-year-old Domenico Pozzovivo to ride on with Israel Premier Tech
The Italian will make his debut in his new team colors at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.
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Domenico Pozzovivo will continue his racing career at the ripe age of 40 after penning a one-year deal to race with Israel Premier Tech.
Pozzovivo was left without a contract at the end of 2022 after his deal with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty ended, but negotiations began with Israel Premier Tech to join this spring.
A hoped-for start this week at Tirreno-Adriatico was delayed, but will make his debut in his new team colors at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.
IPT general manager Kjell Carlström said Pozzovivo’s consistency in the GC at grand tours and stage races was a key factor in his signing.
“Looking ahead to our grand tour and stage race ambitions this year, we believe Domenico Pozzovivo can strengthen our GC prospects, particularly at the Giro d’Italia,” Carlström said.
“He is a proven fighter and a rider who can achieve solid GC results while racing independently. He is the ultimate professional and it is a pleasure to have him join IPT and hit the ground running on home soil at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.”
The Italian veteran, who started his career in 2005, is a consistent performer across grand tours, with eight career top-10s in 23 grand tour starts.
Pozzovivo starts his 19th season in the pro ranks
The 2023 season marks Pozzovivo’s 19th season as a pro rider, and boasts wins at the Giro d’Italia, Tour de Suisse, and Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. In 2022, he finished eighth overall at the Giro.
“It is a great achievement to join a team that is happy to repay these hard and difficult months of training without a team but at the same time, it is a starting point to build up to a very good season,” Pozzovivo said.
With 16 Giro d’Italia participations to his name, Pozzovivo is set to line up again at La Corsa Rosa, but it isn’t his only goal this season, team officials said.
“For sure, the Giro d’Italia is one of the main goals of the season and for me, to be in top-10 is the goal. I think it is a very important result, also considering my age, and also what has happened in my career in terms of accidents and recovering,” he said. “But, the Giro is not the only goal for the season. I think I can be present in the GC in some of the important one-week races during the season and also, be in good condition for the last classics in Italy, especially Il Lombardia which is a race that suits me a lot.
“I want to thank the IPT management for believing in me, and especially Valentino Sciotti from Fantini who pushed me to join the team and convinced the management of my qualities,” he said.
Last year, the team offered a final-hour contract to Simon Clarke, another proven veteran who was also caught out without a deal. Clarke promptly paid back the team with its first Tour de France stage win.
The team is hoping for a similar payback on its bet with Pozzovivo, whose consistency will help the team harvest points across the season.