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"I hope to be at the start of the Giro d'Italia which is the race that has always meant most to me, and it could be a good way to finish my career. But that’s not a limit I want to impose on myself right now, even if I w...

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ALESSANDRO PETACCHI

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VINI ZABU KTM

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06.01.2015 @ 12:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport. Alessandro Petacchi and manager Angel Citracca have finally reached an agreement that will see the Italian sprinter join the Southeast team which was known as Neri Sottoli until the main sponsor withdrew yesterday. Grey is the predominant color in the new team kit of the pro continental team.

 

Petacchi who turned 41 last Saturday, goes into his 20th season after riding two years with Omega Pharma-Quick Step as a lead-out man for Mark Cavendish. "I still want to ride and I am happy with this team. The project is very convincing, the team is competitive and I think I can make a contribution. Especially for young Jakub Mareczko whom I don't know but I have been told that he is very fast," he tells La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Up until the Giro d'Italia, I expected to renew my contract with Omega but then things changed. I did not know what to do but I continued to train. Now I'm very motivated for this new adventure, but I will take things day by day."

 

Petacchi prefers not to look to far ahead and doesn't rule anything out. "I hope to be at the start of the Giro d'Italia which is the race that has always meant most to me, and it could be a good way to finish my career. But that’s not a limit I want to impose on myself right now, even if I will certainly start to attend the training course for directeurs sportifs which is now mandatory if you want to work in the area of sports training, an area that interests me. We'll see. Who knows, maybe I will have a collapse and will have to stop now. Or maybe everything goes well and in September I will renegotiate a new contract," he says.

 

His victories include 22 stage wins at the Giro d'Italia - nine in 2004 -  20 at the Vuelta a Espan and six at the Tour de France as well as victories in classics like Milan-San Remo (2005), Paris-Tours (2007) and Scheldepijs (2009) and stage races like Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Romandie and Tour de Suisse. He has also won the points jersey in the 2004 Giro, 2005 Vuelta and 2010 Tour. His last victory came was taken at the 2014 GP Pino Cerami.

 

His started his career with Scrigno-Blue Storm (1996) and then rode for Scrigno-Gaerne (1997-1998), Navigare-Gaerne (1999), Fassa Bortolo (2000-2005), Team Milram (2006-2008), LPR Brakes (2008 - 2009), Lampre (2010-2013) and Omega Pharma-Quick Step (2013-2014).

 

Francesco Gavazzi (Astana), Manuel Belletti (AG2R La Mondiale), Luca Wackermann and Elia Favilli (Lampre-Merida), Pole Jakub Mareczko, Albanian Eugert Zhupa, Liam Bertazzo and Matteo Busato (both MG. KVIS) are the other new signings for the Italian team which has renewed the contract of main riders Simone Ponzi and Mauro Finetto.

 

Yesterday Neri Sottoli announced their decision to withdraw from their position as main sponsor of Angelo Citracca's YellowFluo team to instead focus on the backing of the Franco Ballerini junior team and instead the team will be known as Southeast. Former sports director Luca Scinto recently decided to step down from his position.

 

 

The UCI decided to register the team as a Professional Continental Team in 2015 "provided that the team is subjected to strict controls by the UCI Anti-Doping Foundation and verify the implementation of the anti-doping measures announced by the team." The Italian team has maintained its status despite positive tests from Matteo Rabottini in 2014 and Mauro Santambrogio and Danilo di Luca in 2013.

 

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