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“The Tour of Hainan is the race that put me back into the light. I wasn’t going to continue with Lampre-Merida but they gave me the opportunity to take part in this race."

ANDREA PALINI

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TOUR OF HAINAN

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22.10.2015 @ 10:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Professional cyclists have short term work contracts with teams, thus aren’t sure about when their career will come to an end. They work hard as teenagers to reach the level of pro racing but cycling as their job might not last long. Stage 1 winner of the 2015 Tour of Hainan Andrea Palini had his first chance to make his passion his work as he joined continental team Idea in 2012. He stepped up to the World Tour in 2013 but it was already game over towards the end of 2014 since his two-year contract with the Italian outfit wasn’t going to be renewed.

 

One year ago on the start line of the Tour of Hainan, he had no future. But his performances in the Chinese events turned out to being productive in his search for a new job. He won stage 5 in Sanya after coming 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 2nd in the first four stages. He wore the yellow jersey and eventually got hired by the young and ambitious Skydive Dubai team created in 2014 in the United Arab Emirates.

 

“The Tour of Hainan is the race that put me back into the light”, the 26 year-old Italian declared. “I wasn’t going to continue with Lampre-Merida but they gave me the opportunity to take part in this race. Even though they didn’t offer me another contract after my performances here, I’m grateful they sent me to China. Then I got a start with Skydive Dubai and an interesting season debut with two stage wins at the Tour of Egypt and a stage win at the Tour of Gabon.”

 

Just like last year, Palini is again up for contract but after a four-month break in the summer, the team has been revived by the arrival of experienced team manager Alberto Volpi. “I believe my future is again with this team”, Palini said. “Skydive Dubai has high ambitions. I hope it’ll become a World Tour team in the future. I think the program will include some races in Europe next year. We need to race at a higher rhythm and take lessons from what we’ve already done. We still have a lot of room for improvement.”

 

Shall the squad from Dubai reach the highest level of cycling one day, Palini will always remember how much he owes to the Tour of Hainan.

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