Last year Stefano Garzelli was close to sign a contract with Bjarne Riis and Team Saxo Bank, but decided to stay with Acqua e Sapone in order to finish his career with the Italian team after Giro d’Italia. Unfortunately RCS Sport didn’t want to give Garzelli the opportunity to do so as they left out Acqua e Sapone when they handed out the wild cards.
Missing out on the Giro was probably also the reason why Acqua e Sapone decided not to continue their sponsorship in 2013 and therefore Stefano Garzelli now needs to find out if he won’t to continue his career elsewhere or let this be his last season in the peloton.
It’s no secret that Garzelli’s wish always has been to end his career after the Giro, which he won in 2000, but his brother and agent Marco Garzelli, tells me that the current situation with the UCI point system makes it difficult to find a team guaranteed a spot in the Giro next year.
“Stefano had a lot of problems this year and therefore he doesn’t have many points. It’s all very complicated right now. We will know within the next two weeks”, Marco Garzelli tells C-Cycling.
Stefano Garzelli wasn’t present at the Giro d’Italia presentation last month as he the night before was in the middle of “one of the most horrible situation” of his life. The extreme flood in southern Spain had Garzelli and his wife and kids fear for their life as tried to escape the water in the middle of the night. “I was supposed to be riding Giro di Lombardia, but my injury had me to relaxing on the couch instead. I can’t even imagine what would have happened if my wife had been home alone with the kids. This made me once again realize that missing out on races aren’t that important after all”, Garzelli said after the incident.
Gianni Savio and his Androni team are known for giving riders a last chance and after saying good bye to José Rujano and being sure of a Giro invitation next year, maybe this could be a place for Garzelli to end his career? Time will tell…