Franco Pellizotti in talks with 16 ProTour teams.
Franco Pellizotti is a busy, busy man.
Having escaped the clutches and sanctions of the UCI and its suddenly shaky biological passport, the Italian is now in talks with Team Sky, Astana, Geox, Movistar and his old squad Liquigas.
But apparently that was not enough possibilities for leverage for Pellizotti’s agent Alex Carera. According to a source who wishes to remain fabricated, Pellizotti is now negotiating with every team with a ProTour license.
“He has talked to Bruyneel at Radio Shack, Lefevere at Quick Step and Bjarne Riis at Saxo. Riis was particularly interested since he has no riders,” said Carera. “Tchmil at Katusha, Lelangue at BMC and the Euskatel people are formalizing offers as we speak.”
While certainly a first, the idea of a bidding war between sixteen teams is exciting for the runner-up in the 2009 Mr. Cycling burlesque strip show.
“I have purchased 16 mobile phones and assigned a team to each one. This way there is no confusion. I have good sensations, I have to say,” said Pellizotti. “The phones are a bit cumbersome to carry but now I have a chic man-sack.”
According the CONI, (the Italian Olympic Committee) the Italian is free to ride with any team he selects. They found there was insufficient evidence in Pellizotti’s biological profile to prove doping. Lawyers for the winner of the King of the Mountains title in the 2009 Tour de France argued that any abnormal values in his profile were caused by over-use of hair styling products.
No job opportunity is being overlooked with the Italian even considering signing with a French team like Cofidis or Francaise des Jeux. “They are lame, yes, a little slow, but still a good offer might scare Movistar or Sky into a bigger deal,” said Pellizotti.
One rumored scenario is that Pellizotti will sign for three teams and split time between them. “It’s like dating beautiful women — I don’t want to be tied down. Maybe I spend the Spring with Geox, then the Giro with Sky and then late in the season I ride for that Luxembourg Leopard secret project thing,” said Pellizotti. “With my talents, anything is possible. I rule nothing out.”