Young Italian sprinting talent Oscar Gatto will ride for ISD next season. With the folding of team Gerolsteiner, Gatto ended up without a contract and over the last few weeks, increasingly dispaired of finding a job for next season. Rumor had connected him with Mauro Gianetti's new team, Fuji-Servetto. In a press conference today, he confirmed that he will ride for the Italian team ISD next season.
At ISD, Gatto will benefit from the experience of Mario Cipollini, il Re Leone, and long-time Cipollini gregario, Luca Scinto, who has signed on as a sports director. Cipollini is looking forward to working with the young talent, saying that he wants to work with Gatto like a "professor and student." During the press conference earlier this month announcing his involvement with the team, Cipollini had said he wanted to sign a sprinter. With Gatto, he has certainly gotten his wish.
Gatto describes himself as a sprinter who can also get over the short climbs, and is hoping that Cipollini and Scinto can help him develop his speed and power. In 2006, riding for Zalf as an U23, Gatto won 13 races, more than any other Italian rider. His record as a junior was still more impressive. Born in 1985, Gatto is one of the more promising talents on the Italian scene, though he has yet to deliver a big result in the pro ranks. By all accounts, his two years at Gerolsteiner were not especially happy ones, and he is reportedly pleased to be returning to an Italian team. He is only 23 years old. He has time on his side, and now also, the deep experience of one of the sport's most successful sprinters, Mario Cipollini.