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“Yesterday we didn’t manage to sprint well. We’ve been a bit unlucky even though we got a good result. But today, we agreed about the order of our train from the start: [Roberto] Ferrari, [Andrea] Palini and myself. It tur...

Photo: Sirotti








21.10.2014 @ 14:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Yesterday Lampre-Merida finished 2nd, 4th and 6th after getting disorganized in the sprint on the first stage of the Tour of Hainan. Today the team made amends when Niccolo Bonifazio broke the Belkin streak in the Chinese race before praising his teammates for a great lead-out.


Niccolò Bonifazio once again demonstrated that he is very fast and thanks to his sprint he won the 2nd stage of Tour of Hainan. The neo-pro from Lampre-Merida won in Haikou at the end of 207.2km, perfectly exploiting the great teamwork. Bonifazio beat the Dutch sprinter Wippert and his teammate Andrea Palini.

In addition to the victory (4th in the sesson), Bonifazio is the new leader in the overall classification (Palini is 2nd in the same time) and in the points classification.

"This victory makes me very happy, especially because I finished off the job that my teammates had done," Bonifazio explained. "The stage was long so it was not simple to control it with only 6 riders in each team. Anyway, my teammates were great and they gave me the opportunity to do a very good sprint. Day by day I'm recovering from the efforts of the long journey so my aim is to be competitive in the next few stages too.


“Yesterday we didn’t manage to sprint well. We’ve been a bit unlucky even though we got a good result (Palini 2nd, Bonifazio 4th and Ferrari 6th ). But today, we agreed about the order of our train from the start: [Roberto] Ferrari, [Andrea] Palini and myself. It turned out exactly as we wanted.”


“It’s a complicated race to control”, Bonifazio added. “Our team-mates will help and we hope to keep the lead until the very end of the Tour of Hainan.”


The day after the last stage, on October 29, the Italian from Imperia near San Remo in the Liguria region will turn 21. As he already won stage 5 of the Tour of Japan in Tokyo and the Coppa Agostoni in Italy, he’s one of the most promising up and coming sprinters in the world.


“Thanks to a lot of training, I’ve started my career pretty well”, the fast neo pro commented.”


“Now it’ll be up to us to control the race”, Palini admitted. “We’ll ask Belkin to cooperate because Hofland is equal on time and the race should remain like that until stage 7, which is going to be decisive for the overall win.”

Sports director Pedrazzini is very satisfied.


"Unlike yesterday's sprint where we failed to be united until the finish line, we succeeded in working perfectly together and giving Niccolo the perfect support. Ferrari led Palini and Bonifazio to the finishing straight where Andrea was great in protecting Niccolò's wheel from the Wippert who had once beaten Bonifazio in the Tour of Japan. With this support, Bonifazio could do an amazingly powerful sprint that gave him the victory. The whole team did a great job controlling the race, especially Xu Gang."



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