Savoldelli Signs for Two Years
Team US Postal has signed 2002 Tour of Italy champion Paolo Savoldelli to a two-year contract.
Team US Postal has signed 2002 Tour of Italy champion Paolo Savoldelli to a two-year contract beginning in 2005. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
The USPS team will become the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team next season as the U.S. Postal Service ends its title sponsorship of the team after nine seasons.
Savoldelli, 31, a member of the T-Mobile cycling team the past two years, won a stage and finished second at the 1999 Tour of Italy, and also won the 2000 Tour of Romandy and the Tour of Trentino in 1998 and 1999. Savoldelli missed most of the 2003 season due to various injuries.
"I think it's a very strong addition to the team in terms of how the new Pro Tour is designed," said USPS sports manager Johan Bruyneel. "It's pretty clear the Pro Tour is for teams with strong stage racers. Paolo is a strong addition to the team and is also a very strong addition in view of the big tours. We haven't decided what the program will be yet, either the Tour of Italy or the Tour de France, but I think either way he's a rider who will fill in the spot we were still looking for. He can both climb and time trial, and there aren't too many of those guys out there.?
"He will be riding as a leader in certain races and also in support of a leader. I have a really good feeling about Paolo. It's funny, he was the guy I was looking for, and when the opportunity came and he was available to come to the team, I went for it," Bruyneel continued.
Quoted on German news wire DPA, Savoldelli said, "I'm very lucky and very pleased to be joining Armstrong's team. I wanted to join a new team with a new approach. I am very excited about the coming season."
A professional since 1996, Savoldelli raced for Roslotto, Saeco and Index Alexia before joining the T-Mobile at the start of 2003.