According to Friday’s Gazzetta dello Sport, Italian veteran Dario Cioni will ride for Team Sky in 2010, making him the third Italian in the new British professional team.
In truth, Cioni is set to join the team but his contract has yet to be finalised, as he told Cycling Weekly, while picking olives on his farm in Tuscany.
“I’d like to ride for Team Sky but there’s nothing official yet, the deal not been closed yet,” Cioni said.
“Team Sky is going to be a good set-up but Gazzetta has overstepped the mark by saying it’s a done deal.”
34 year-old Cioni rode for ISD this year. He began his career in mountain biking but switched to the road in 2000 as part of the Mapei development team. He was fourth in the 2004 Giro d’Italia and then third in the Tour of Switzerland while riding for Fassa Bortolo.
Cioni was born in Reading and his mum is British but he opted to ride for Italy and has an Italian licence.
In 2004 Cioni was selected for the world championships but was not allowed to ride after failing a haematocrit test. After undergoing tests he was later awarded a certificate from the UCI that confirms he has a naturally high haematocrit that allows him to go over the 50% limit in tests.
Cioni was recently reconfirmed as a rider representative on the UCI ProTour committee. He has a degree in international business studies with a specialisation in sports management.
Cioni is set to be third Italian at Team Sky along with Morris Possoni and Davide Vigano.