Domenico Pozzovivo has described his bid to equal the record for the most Giro d’Italia appearances as “like the plot of a movie”.
The 41-year-old has signed a one-year contract with VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizane, where he will race for the 2024 season.
Pozzovivo is set to make his 18th appearance at the Giro d’Italia in May which would match Italian compatriot Wladimiro Panizza’s record, but does not plan on stopping there.
“It’s like something from a film,” Pozzovivo told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta.
He continued: “When you start off on a journey like this long ago, and then you think that after all this time and so many episodes, we’ve come together again for the closing of the circle. It sounds like the plot of a movie.
“Equalling Panizza is one of the main motivations,” he added. “Also, I abandoned the Giro last year, and I wasn’t even able to ride Il Lombardia. It would have been a very melancholy farewell.
“And to be clear, I’m not thinking about stopping after the 2024 Giro, but at the end of the season at Il Lombardia.”
Pozzovivo’s new team were recently confirmed as a wildcard invitation to the 2024 edition of the Giro.
After representing Israel Premier Tech in 2023, the veteran was without a contract at the end of the season but was determined to prolong his career.
He had originally set a date in October to find a new team, but still without one, continued to train throughout the winter in preparation for the new season.
“I feel like an ‘old’ guy, with a very young mindset,” said Pozzovivo, who is set to mark his comeback at the Tirreno-Adriatico race in Italy in March.
“I have no problem relating to the younger generation. With the athletic numbers I’ve got, a place in the top 10 wouldn’t be impossible.”
Pozzovivo won a stage at the Giro in 2012 when he was racing with Bruno Reverberi’s team and finished fifth overall in 2014 and 2018.