Stefano Garzelli could be poised to join Saxo Bank to bring the veteran Italian climber to help Alberto Contador in the high mountains for the grand tours.
That’s according to a report in La Gazzetta dello Sport, which said that a move is imminent to bring the 2000 Giro champ to the team managed by Bjarne Riis in a two-year deal.
Garzelli, 38, is looking at retirement following the news that his Acqua e Sapone squad was not invited to this year’s Giro d’Italia. Riis, however, believes that Garzelli could come in quite handy, especially in the high mountains to help Contador.
Saxo Bank didn’t sign any major firepower over the winter to really bolster Contador’s support in the decisive climbing stages. Garzelli, who has proven a consistent performer at the Giro each May, could be a leader for the Giro and then help Contador in the Tour.
Gazzetta reported that Garzelli could race Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo with Acqua e Sapone and then switch to Saxo Bank for the remainder of the 2012 season, with an option for 2013.
Garzelli could also be a second option for Riis if Contador loses his long-running clenbuterol case, which could finally be resolved by the end of January.