'I don't have a plan B': Domenico Pozzovivo says he may retire if Qhubeka-NextHash fold

The 38-year-old Italian climber has put in some of his best performances at the South African team

Domenico Pozzovivo
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Domenico Pozzovivo has said that he doesn't "have a plan B" if Qhubeka-NextHash fold at the end of the year and suggests he could retire.

Pozzovivo, who has been a professional since 2005, has been at the South African team for just two seasons, but has already stated he hopes a sponsor comes in to save the team.

Qhubeka-NextHash are facing the possibility of folding yet again after last season saw the team somehow salvage a sponsor just in time for the 2021 season. The clothing brand Assos stepped up at the last minute to co-sponsor before NextHash and Burberry also joined.

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But now the team is looking down the same barrel once again. However, according to BiciPro, bike sponsor BMC and car supplier Mercedes have both committed to the team and will continue with the team if a title sponsor is found.

"I know as much as you do. The situation is completely open. The idea is to stay with the Qhubeka group," Pozzovivo told BiciPro.

"It wouldn't be good if it doesn't happen but I don't have a Plan B, so there's a risk I might have to retire."

When asked if he would drop down to Qhubeka's Continental development team he was straight back with a "no." 

He added: "To continue the game must be worth the candle and if I do not have the opportunity to ride a high-level calendar, the motivation also suffers. And this applies to both a young and old team."

The Italian veteran would prefer a deadline from team manager Doug Ryder to ease his anxiety.

"I talked to him, but then the reality is that time passes," Pozzvivo said. "It would have been better to have a deadline at least I would have had a certain date, a deadline. It would take away my anxiety. Maybe others would not have reasoned in this way, but at least in this way I focus and do not let myself be distracted by anything else.

Pozzovivo will soon be graduating with a degree in motor sciences but is also keen to go into coaching after finishing his racing career.

"If I have to stop racing, I'll quickly do my thesis and see if someone wants to hire me," he continued. 

"I've coached myself for a few years now under the supervision of the team. I think I know how to prepare for pro races. But first I want to race on for one more year. I hope it happens. I think Doug can pull it off."

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.