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Domenico Pozzovivo is headed to NTT next year, the South African WorldTour team has announced.
The 37-year-old Italian climbing specialist, a Giro d’Italia stage winner who counts seven Grand Tour GC top 10s on his career palmares, has ridden with Bahrain-Merida for the past two seasons.
Pozzovivo’s 2019 campaign was cut short when he was hit by a car while training, suffering multiple injuries that required six hours of surgery. He vowed to return to racing, but his contract with Bahrain was up at the end of the season, meaning that he would need to find a new squad to continue at the WorldTour level.
Just in time to celebrate the new year, Pozzovivo will join NTT, the new iteration of Dimension Data, on a two-year deal. In the team’s press release announcing the news, he was optimistic about his chances of getting back to his best.
“Already, since the long period of hospitalization and then with a hard physiotherapy job, I started to work tenaciously on my recovery,” he said. “My healing will continue in the next months and I’m confident that together with the team we will win this bet.”
With 18 Grand Tour starts already under his belt, Pozzovivo will be a valuable veteran for an NTT team undergoing several changes in the new year. Mark Cavendish is leaving for Bahrain-Merida and Steve Cummings is one of several veterans retiring from the pro peloton, while the team has added new talents like Victor Campenaerts, Max Walscheid, and Ben Dyball.
“We needed a climbing specialist with GC aspirations to complement the team we have assembled for 2020,” said Doug Ryder, team principal. “Domenico has been so consistent over the years, his experience will add huge value to the younger climbers in our team, and the true grit he has shown since his accident proves his passion and commitment to his own career and the sport of cycling.”