Discovery sign Savoldelli

After two pretty luckless years with T-Mobile, Paolo Savoldelli is moving on to Discovery where he h

After two pretty luckless years with T-Mobile, Paolo Savoldelli is moving on to Discovery where he h
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE 2002 Giro d'Italia winner Paolo Savoldelli has signed with the Discovery Channel team for the next two seasons. The 31-year-old Italian has spent the past two seasons with T-Mobile, where he has failed to make any kind of impact due to a succession of injury problems, some of which were largely due to an incident when Savoldelli was involved in a collision with a car while out training at the start of 2003. Nicknamed 'the falcon' by his fans, Savoldelli interested the US Postal team even prior to his Giro win, but he felt he would have more chance to ride for himself with T-Mobile. Unfortunately, he never really got the chance to show the German team what he could do, although he is currently riding well at the Tour of Britain. As well as the 2002 Giro victory, Savoldelli finished second in the 1999 Giro to Ivan Gotti and won the Tour of Romandie in the following year. "I think it's a very strong addition to the team in terms of how the new Pro Tour is designed," said US Postal team manager Johan Bruyneel. "It's pretty clear the Pro Tour is for teams with strong stage racers. Paolo is a strong addition to the team and is also a very strong addition in view of the big tours. We haven't decided what his programme will be yet, either the Tour of Italy or the Tour de France, but I think either way he's a rider who will fill in the spot we were still looking for. He can both climb and time trial, and there aren't too many of those guys out there. "He will be riding as a leader in certain races and also in support of a leader. I have a really good feeling about Paolo. It's funny, he was the guy I was looking for, and when the opportunity came and he was available to come to the team, I went for it." Quoted on German news wire dpa, Savoldelli said: "I'm very lucky and very pleased to be joining Lance Armstrong's team. I wanted to join a new team with a new approach. I am very excited about the coming season."
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