Filippo Pozzato got dropped. That’s happened too many times in the classics this season. Now even his team, Katusha, the Russian Global Cycling Shindig! has left him behind.
Originally on the Giro roster, the Italian was removed along with Luca Paolini as the team decided to throw all support behind overall contender Joaquim Rodriguez instead of aiming for juicy stage wins.
Katusha said the team would not include “stage hunters, but riders with good team work and climbing attitudes for the final goal of the general classification that will be decided in the last, very tough week.” In other words, no Pippo.
Pozzato has been in team manager Andre Tchmil’s dog house all Spring thanks to his generally lackluster performance in the classics. Tchmil has publicly criticized the tattooed Italian and even suggested he examine his conscience. Have you ever examined your consicence while pedaling a bike? No small task. In any case, both sides have shown no interested in renewing Pozzato’s one year contract.
So Pozzato will be sitting at home watching the Giro on TV. Being left off the Giro roster is the ultimate insult for an Italian professional cyclist. He was having trouble in the races; now he’s having difficulty even getting into the race.
In Paris-Roubaix, he crashed, broke a shifter and waited forever for the Katusha team car to bring a spare bike. Unfortunately the car itself had suffered a mechanical — a flat tire — and didn’t reach Pozzato until the race was long gone.
Call that a bit of Greek-Russian symbolism. Katusha wasn’t there to help with a new ride. Now, he’s not riding period.