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Matteo Tosatto joins Saxo Bank-SunGuard for 2011

Matteo Tosatto, a veteran Italian worker, has cut a one-year deal to join Saxo Bank-SunGuard for the 2011 season.

Tosatto, who has won stages in the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, will help fill the gap left by the departure of such workhorses as Stuart O’Grady and Jens Voigt. Tosatto leaves Quick Step following five seasons with the Belgian outfit to join Bjarne Riis, the team reported Monday.

“With Matteo we will have a remarkably solid and loyal cyclist who will glide in to the role as capitaine de route in a natural way,” Riis said in a team release. “Throughout his long career, he has been much appreciated and respected at both former teams and the Italian national team. He will fit in well and we’re all looking forward to welcoming him on board.”

Tosatto, 36, is also handy in setting up sprints, working to control breakaways and getting into winning moves, particularly in the late going in three-week stage races. His career highlight was winning stage 18 in the 2006 Tour.

“As so many others in the world of cycling, I have been fascinated by the way Bjarne runs his team and I’m really proud about becoming a member of the well-respected organization,” Tosatto said. “Coming to this well-organized team gives me new motivation and I can’t wait to meet my new teammates and the staff around us.”

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