Matteo Tosatto impressed with organization and team spirit at Saxo Bank-SunGard
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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Matteo Tosatto impressed with organization and team spirit at Saxo Bank-SunGard

by Jered Gruber at 6:54 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Italian veteran ready to embark on fifteenth professional season

At this point in the career of 36 year old, Matteo Tosatto, it would seem that very little could surprise or prove a new experience for the rider valued highly for his qualities as a teammate. However his first experiences with Bjarne Riis's outfits have been just that - surprising.

"I've tried many things in the international world of cycling, but I am convinced that Saxo Bank-SunGard is the best organized team I have ever experienced in my career."

The former QuickStep rider, who is getting ready to embark on his fifteenth season as a professional, was blown away by the atmosphere and the team spirit within the Saxo Bank-SunGard team.

"The camp on Fuerteventura was not like other training sessions I've been to. The team spirit and open mind of the riders who have been on the team for a longer time were simply impressive. Because of this, I soon got to know the other riders and at the same time, I had the opportunity to meet the whole staff behind the cyclists. I have never been presented by the whole staff on any other former team."

Despite his reputation for being one of the best early leadout men in the business, as well as a prized motor in the Italian National team at the World Championships, Tosatto went into the offseason without a contract for 2011. It looked as if his career might end prematurely, but Bjarne Riis stepped in at the end of November with a one year deal for the rider who hails from Veneto. It's something that, unsurprisingly, seems to have struck a chord with Tosatto.

"I can't wait to wear the Saxo Bank-SunGard jersey to repay the confidence Bjarne has shown me in appointing me to the team."

The veteran of 22 Grand Tours has finished his home Grand Tour, the Giro d'Italia, six times (including last year), the Vuelta a Espana seven times (his second Grand Tour of 2010), and the Tour de France, nine times. While Tosatto has made a name for himself as a super domestique, he also has stage wins to his credit at both the Vuelta and the Tour. Netting victories is still something that Tosatto hopes to be able to do in the coming year, even if his main duties will be riding support for teammates.

"Naturally, I hope to win and do some beautiful races, but obviously, the most important thing is the team, which will certainly have a very good season with this unspoiled and loyal attitude the riders have already shown during our first meeting."

Tosatto, who has ridden for only four teams in his career: Ballan, Fassa Bortolo, QuickStep, and now Saxo Bank, will function not only as a hard working teammate, but also as a road captain. He will likely play an integral role in a lot of the success the team is sure to enjoy in the coming year, and it's something that he's keen to get started with.

"If I can help some of my teammates to win races, I'll be as happy as if I had won myself. I am looking forward to taking on the adventure."

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