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"It will be interesting to find out if I'll be able to fight for the overall classification. If not  I'll aim to be a protagonist in some of the mountain stages: it would be great to win a stage," Scarponi says

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DIEGO ULISSI

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MANUELE MORI

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MASSIMO GRAZIATO

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MATTEO BONO

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MAXIMILIANO RICHEZE

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MICHELE SCARPONI

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SIMONE STORTONI

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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WINNER ANACONA

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20.08.2013 @ 17:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Michele Scarponi will be at the centre of the Lampre-Merida roster for the Vuelta a Espana and the Italian has set his sights on a high overall placing. In addition, young Diego Ulissi will prepare for the world championships while also targeting a stage win along the way.

 

Lampre-Merida had a highly successful Giro d'Italia with Michele Scarponi and Prizemyslaw Niemiec finishing 4th and  6th respectively but missed completely out in what was a disastrous performance at the Tour de France. The team now hopes to get back on track in the final grand tour of the season, the Vuelta a Espana which starts on Saturday.

 

Michele Scarponi has set his sights on a podium spot in the Spanish grand tour and hopes to improve on his most recent performance in the Spanish grand tour. Having finished 2nd in the Giro d'Italia (later elevated to 1st following the disqualification of Alberto Contador), he lined up with big ambitions in 2011 but faded towards the end before ultimately abandoning.

 

Since his 2nd place at the Italian championships in late June, he has only raced once when he finished a modest 45th in the Tour de Pologne. That race was, however, mere preparation and he feel well-prepared to target the GC in Spain - even though he may change his objectives along the way.

 

"It's not simple to obtain good results in two grand tours, but I have trained in a proper way and I'd really like to be competitive," he said. "It will be interesting to find out if I'll be able to fight for the overall classification. If not  I'll aim to be a protagonist in some of the mountain stages: it would be great to win a stage."

 

With the world championships taking place on a hilly course in Florence, the Italian also hopes to convince Italian selector Paolo Bettini to include him on the roster.

 

"In addition, I hope to be in a sufficiently good condition to show that I could be a strong member of the national team that will race in Florence as the course could be suitable for my characteristics," Scarponi added.

 

Winner Anacona will be the team's second GC option. The Colombian finished 19th in his maiden grand tour at last year's Vuelta but missed most of this season due to injury. He returned to competition in the Tour de Pologne and used the Eneco Tour to get back up to racing speeds. Anacona and Scarponi will be ably supported by Simone Stortoni in the mountains.

 

Another potential GC rider would have been Diego Ulissi and even though the recent Tour de Pologne stage winner will line up in Spain, he is mostly focused on the worlds and so will have different objectives.

 

"My target is a stage victory and I know I can try to reach this goal,", he said. "Stage by stage my condition should improve so that I'll be ready to perform well at the world championships if I get selected for the nationa team."

 

Ulissi will try to win one of the hillier stages as will veteran Mauele Mori. In the bunch sprints, the team will be led by Maximiliano Richeze who recently finished 2nd and 4th on stages of the Eneco Tour and the Argentinean will be ably supported by young Massimo Graziato.

 

The team will be completed by Matteo Bono and Luca Dodi who will mostly serve as domestiques. The latter has recently recovered from an injury that saw him miss of most of his first professional season.

 

The Vuelta starts on Saturday with a team time trial in Galica.

 

Lampre-Merida for the Vuelta a Espana

Michele Scarponi, Winner Anacona, Simone Stortoni, Luca Dodi, Matteo Bono, Maximiliano Richeze, Massimo Graziato, Diego Ulissi and Manuele Mori

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