Matteo Tosatto continues with Saxo-Tinkoff for two more years
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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Matteo Tosatto continues with Saxo-Tinkoff for two more years

by Kyle Moore at 9:14 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
New deal will allow venerable Italian to race through age 41

Matteo TosattoHis unquestioned abilities as a team domestique, as well as his understated value as a one-day rider have combined to earn Matteo Tosatto another contract with Saxo-Tinkoff.

The Italian has been racing and earning results on the road since 1999, when he rode for Ballan-Alessio. Since then, it’s been just extended stints with Fassa Bortolo and Quick Step, before signing with Bjarne Riis’ outfit for 2011. Statistically, his best year was perhaps back in 2004, when he won several races and finished both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, but the Italian continues on the same pace.

A testament to his durability, Tosatto has ridden at least two Grand Tours every year since 2006. He also won stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia in 2001, as well as stage 18 of the Tour de France in 2006.

Though it’s been a time since Tosatto was a Grand Tour stage win threat, he has settled into a role as a strong helper, while also picking up the occasional result in a one-day Classic.

Tosatto is reported to have chosen a new contract over retirement at the behest of Saxo-Tinkoff star Alberto Contador, and team director Riis. Their urging inspired the 39-year-old to sign on again. Tosatto turns 40 in May, and if past history is a trend, he is likely to be riding the Giro d’Italia on his birthday.

The contract also gives the Italian the option to stay on in a management role once his riding days are done.

“It’s a mark of my dedication, an acknowledgement of my career,” Tosatto said according to Feltet.dk, speaking about the message he received from Contador and Riis.

Tosatto’s results have yet to dip, through the 2013 season. He finished Tirreno-Adriatico and the Spring Classics at the beginning of the year, then rode the Tour of California, the Tour de Suisse, and the Tour de France. Tosatto finished 14th on stage 13 to Saint-Amand-Montrond, which became known as the stage during which eventual winner Chris Froome (Sky Procycling) lost 1’09” after getting stuck behind in cross winds.

Working with Daniele Bennati, Tosatto was instrumental in helping most of Saxo-Tinkoff get clear in the 14-man group, containing Contador, Roman Kreuziger, Nicolas Roche, and Michael Rogers. Tosatto was also supporting Roche again in the Vuelta a España before ending his season at the GP Bruno Beghelli in October.

In 2012, the Saxo-Tinkoff rider was seventh in Paris-Roubaix, proving he can still compete at the top level, and compete with the other superstars of cycling near age 40.

“I don’t necessarily match Jens Voigt or my other colleagues who are already in their forties,” he added. “I’ve never set myself certain targets, just as I have never raced and thought it would be my last year. My focus has always been to do my best, and last year felt better than before.”

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