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“In this season, I have not yet had the joy of a victory, that’s why my attention is deeply focused on Tour of Beijing in the attempt to reach the first seasonal joy. I know well that the level of the opponents will be high, but...

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ANDREA PALINI

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DAVIDE CIMOLAI

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DAVIDE VIGANO

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LUCA WACKERMANN

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MASSIMO GRAZIATO

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MATTEO BONO

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ROBERTO FERRARI

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TOUR OF BEIJING

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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09.10.2013 @ 19:53 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lampre-Merida will send a team of sprinters to the third edition of the Tour of Beijing. The team's main sprinter Roberto Ferrari is set to be supported by a strong lead-out train while young Jan Polanc will get his chance to shine on the hillier stages.

 

The Tour of Beijing will be tougher than ever for its third edition but at least two of the five stages are expected to end in a bunch sprint. Lampre-Merida has put together a team for the flat stages and hopes to take their first win in the Chinese event.

 

The man expected to deliver the goods is the team's main sprinter Roberto Ferrari. Having won a stage at last year's Giro, he joined Lampre-Merida prior to the season and took several top 10 results in both the Giro and the Tour. However, the win has so far eluded the fast Italian and he plans to make up for it on the last possible occasion as he has set his sights on the final stage that finishes in front of the Olympic Stadium on Bird's Nest Piazza in Beijing.

 

“In this season, I have not yet had the joy of a victory, that’s why my attention is deeply focused on Tour of Beijing in the attempt to reach the first seasonal joy," he said. "I know well that the level of the opponents will be high, but it could be a huge satisfaction to achieve my goal, maybe in such exciting scenario as Bird’s Nest Piazza."

 

The team has put almost its entire focus on the sprint stages and has lined up what appears to be the strongest lead-out train in the race. Ferrari will be supported by fast riders Davide Cimolai, Andrea Palini, Davide Vigano and Massimo Graziato

 

 “In the team I’m not the only one fast rider, since in China there will be also teammates Cimolai, Graziato, Palini and Viganò," he said. "This means that I’ll be able to receive a top quality support or, if I won’t be in my best condition, the team will be able to rely on effective alternatives.”

 

This year's edition of the Tour of Beijing includes its first ever big summit finish on stage 4 and has hilly stages on the second and third day. The team's captain for the tougher days is young Jan Polanc who signed a contract with the team in August after having finished 2nd overall in the Tour of Slovenia.

 

The youngster now gets his chance to shine in a WorldTour race.

 

“I’m in a good condition, I’m living a wide open eyes dream racing in a WorldTour team and, the most important thing, I’m realising good performances, obtaining the appreciation by the team management and my team mates,” he said. “So, I’ll fly to China with the determination to give the team satisfactions, maybe acting as an outsider: the courses of the second, third, and maybe fourth stage are suitable for attacking from faraway or to be ready to move in the proper moment in the final part of the race. The important thing is to be focused on the target and I really want to be so.”

 

The team is completed by domestiques Matteo Bono and Luca Wackermann.

 

Manager Giuseppe Saronni showed his interest in Asian cycling earlier today when he announced that the team had reached a preliminary agreement with former Chinese champion Gang Xu to join the for next season. The team hopes to gain further exposure in China during the Tour of Beijing.

 

“The Tour of Beijing is a very stimulating race for our team, who is willing to open itself to the new frontiers of cycling," Saronni said. "That’s why we want to show to the Asian fans our best young riders, who could be the future of our sport: Cimolai, Graziato, Palini, Polanc, Wackermann. They all are young guns whose approach to races could be very interesting and exciting for the cycling fans. In the past two edition of the race, we never succeeded in achieving the victory: it’s time to hit the target.”

 

The Tour of Beijing kicks off on Friday with a flat stage.

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