Contract rules are forcing Movistar to drop one of its riders from its women team, Movistar officials confirmed Monday.
Sofia Bertizzolo was expected to join Movistar in 2020, but fine print inside the UCI rulebook appears to be stalling her career, at least right now.
Bertizzolo, 22, was set to join Movistar for next season among four new signings to the team. The Italian raced three seasons with Astana and in 2019 with Virtu, a year highlighted by fourth in the Ronde van Vlaanderen this spring.
Bertizzolo is also contracted with the Polizia di Stato in her native Italy. According to Movistar officials, rules for WorldTour licenses prevent the existence of “dual work contracts,” according to a press release.
“After exploring every option available, and establishing that it is impossible to properly combine both situations, the Movistar Team can only wish Sofia the best with her future sporting endeavors,” a team release stated Monday.
There was no immediate comment from the UCI. It was unclear if there was a conflict with Spanish or Italian law, but rules mean there won’t be a Movistar contract next season for the promising Italian.
The women’s Movistar Team roster for 2020 now features eleven riders: three new signings – Katrine Aalerud, Jelena Erić, and Barbara Guarischi – and eight members of the 2019 team: Aude Biannic, Alicia González, Sheyla Gutiérrez, Eider Merino, Lourdes Oyarbide, Paula Patiño, Gloria Rodríguez, and Alba Teruel.