One step backwards, two steps forward — or in Filippo Pozzato’s case, one backpedal in the hopes of moving forward again.
The hard-luck classics hard-man finally left behind his disastrous relationship with Katusha and instead of a new ProTour team, has signed with Pro Continental squad Farnese Vini.
“I think Farnese Vini will be the right team for me to restart my career,” Pozzato said. Restart, repair, rework in hopes of resurgence.
Pozzato had a terrible relationship with mean boss Andre Tchmil at the Russian Global Cycling Shindig. Tchmil liked to take his media shots at the Italian for what he perceived as a lack of aggression, commitment, results.
That kind of old school soviet management didn’t work well with Pozzato and the result was bitterness and recrimination. Tchmil brought in Mario Cipolini to work with the young Russian sprinters and hoped some of the Lion King’s forceful personality would rub off on Pozzato. But the man with the “Only God Can Judge Me” tattoo didn’t appreciate the thought or Cipo.
A lack of any results in the Spring classics had Tchmil fuming and he reacted by leaving Pozzato off the roster for all three grand tours. It was quite an impressive doghouse.
You can fault Pozzato was some underwhelming rides but he had more than his share of bad luck and crashes, even falling down the stairs. It’s been that kind of crap year.
However, Katusha certainly had a share of responsibility for Pozzato’s Year of Riding Slowly. In Paris-Roubaix, Pozzato’s race ended because the Katusha team car had a puncture and was nowhere in sight when he needed a bike change. He never got an “oops, sorry” for that one.
So out with the dictatorial Tchmil and on to the lighter touch of Luca Scinto. “I’ve always appreciated the work of Scinto and I know that ability to build and motivate a good team of riders that can help a team leader. I’m ready to trust him and work with him,” said Pozzato.
“I know some people think it’s a step down for me but I’m happy to go against general opinion. t’s the best solution for me to rediscover my peace of mind and so get the results I want to.”
Peace of mind is certainly something to treasure but in Pozzato’s case, results would be even better.