Pellizotti to remain part of Androni Venezuela after Astana deal fell through
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Monday, December 23, 2013

Pellizotti to remain part of Androni Venezuela after Astana deal fell through

by VeloNation Press at 6:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Savio claims pre-existing contract agreement was in place if rider couldn't find a WorldTour team

Franco PellizottiAfter inking a WorldTour deal with the Astana team last summer and then seeing that agreement unravel in the months since, Franco Pellizotti will once again don the colours of the Androni Venezuela team in 2014.

“Franco Pellizotti stays with us,” the team manager Gianni Savio stated today. “Next season he’ll share the role of captain of our team with Johnny Hoogerland. It’s not a new enrolment, since the contract in force will expire on December 31st 2014 but, following the agreement signed by the rider and by his agent Johnny Carera on the eve of the Italian Championship, if the athlete obtained a higher wage than the one he receives from us, he would have been free to go to another team, provided it was a World Tour Team.

“But, since the negotiation with Astana was not successful, Franco Pellizotti remains with our team.”

The Italian moved to the Pro Continental team prior to the 2012 season, had looked set to return to the WorldTour. However after Astana announced his contract on August 1st, it was pointed out to the team that as it was a member of the MPCC, that Pellizotti wouldn’t be able to compete there until May, days before the start of the Giro d’Italia.

The reason for the complication was the two year ban he was given on May 3rd 2010 over biological passport issues. He was eligible to return to racing on May 3rd 2012 but, under the MPCC rules, member teams cannot sign such riders until a further two years had elapsed.

“Normally the position is clear. He was suspended from the 3rd of May 2010 until the 3 May 2012 [for biological passport issues –ed]. So he can ride the 3rd May 2014,” MPCC president Roger Legeay told VeloNation in August.

Although the Astana team appeared to initially indicate that the contract would go ahead, things broke down in the months since. Pellizotti was consequently back on the market and with his agent Carera recovering from a bad car crash, he was in a difficult position.

However Savio stepped forward and has now ensured that the rider will continue as part of the Giro d’Italia wildcard squad.

While Androni Venezuela is also a MPCC team, Pellizotti was already one of its riders before it joined the anti-doping organisation.

His race of 2014 will be at the at Gran Premio Costa degli Etruschi on February 2nd.

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