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Olympic champion Paolo Bettini has confirmed he will be staying with Quick Stepfor the next two seasons. An agreement was reached with Quick Step boss Patrick Lefvre on Thursday evening in Pontresina, where the team was staying for the Tour of Switzerland. "I'm very satisfied with the agreement we have reached," explained Bettini. "Our decision to renew our agreement stems from the certainty that I'm still able to be a protagonist, with precise technical guarantees and with a group of people and sponsors with which I have shared all the great successes of my career."
Lefvre also expressed his satisfaction: "We still wanted Paolo because he has for a long time been one of the pillars of the team, a man on which we can depend. He's besides the Olympic champion and we are sure that in the future he will be able to give us more great successes."
- Lampre-Fondital have confirmed that team leader Damiano Cunego will be making his Tour de France debut next month. After a disappointing showing at the Giro, where he finished fourth, Cunego had been reconsidering his participation in the Tour. "I will take part in the Tour because I understand that I want to prove myself in this charming race," said Cunego. "This will be my first Tour and it will provide me with experience."
- The prosecutor in the Italian city of Lucca has revealed that legendary sprinter Mario Cipollini is being investigated for suspected tax evasion. Cipollini's lawyer has confirmed that the investigation covers the years 2000-2004 when 'SuperMario' was resident in Monte Carlo. Cipollini was investigated in a similar way in the late 1990s, and investigators are reported to be acting on further information they have received about that period and the subsequent one, examining whether the Italian ex-pro's residency in the principality was a faade that enabled him to avoid paying income tax in Italy. "It wasn't like that at all," his lawyer told La Nazione. "Not only was Mario living in Monte Carlo, but his whole family were with him and his daughters went to school there."
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