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" The course is demanding and you need good legs. I think that our riders who have raced in Australia, will have the necessary energy to be leaders," sports director Vicino says

Photo: Sirotti












01.02.2014 @ 14:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lampre-Merida have announced their line-up for the first Italian race of the season, the GP Costal degli Etruschi, which takes place tomorrow. On the lumpy course near the Mediterranean sea, the team will support Manuele Mori and Luca Wackermann who both showed good form in the recent Tour Down Under.


With a successful Tour Down Under already in their legs, Lampre-Merida are gearing themselves up for their first European race of the season, the GP Costa degli Etruschi, which takes place in their native Italy. The race has traditionally been the Italian season-opener but financial difficulties saw last year's edition being postponed to September when Lampre made it a clean sweep of the podium on the new, hillier course around Donoratico, with Michele Scarponi, Diego Ulissi, and Filippo Pozzato all finishing in the top 3.


Those three riders will not be in attendance when the race is back in its February slot for the 2014 edition but Lampre-Merida will again line up a motivated team. Having traditionally ended in a bunch sprint, the race will again use a hillier course, with two late passages of Torre Segalari climb set to make for a more selective race.


The team will be led by Manuele Mori who showed good condition when he supported Diego Ulissi to stage win and third overall in the Tour Down Under. Being a solid climber and a fast finisher, he has all the characteristics to shine on the new course.


He will joined by fellow Tour Down Under participants Luca Wackermann and Matteo Bono. The latter rode really well in Australia and seemed to be in contention for the young riders' jersey when he lost time due to a mechanical.


The team is completed by climbers Mattia Cattaneo, Kristijan Durasek and Jan Polanc who could all show their cards on Torre Segalari, and solid domestique Luca Dodi.


"For half of the team it will be the first race of the season and the race will be used to evaluate how the guys react during the race," sports director Bruno Vicino said. "Bono, Mori and Wackermann are already riding well, having returned from Australia this week. The brilliance shown at the Tour Down under, particularly by Mori and Wackermann, will certainly be useful to the team to try make a good result in the finale.


"The course is demanding and you need good legs," he added. "I think that our riders who have raced in Australia, will have the necessary energy to be leaders."


Lampre-Merida will be one of two ProTeams in attendance, the other being fellow Italian team Cannondale.


Lampre-Merida for the GP Costa degli Etruschi

Luca Dodi, Matteo Bono, Luca Wackermann, Manuele Mori, Kristijan Durasek, Jan Polanc and Mattia Cattaneo



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