Cimolai and Modolo in the sprint for the victory, but they missed the target

Good performance by Cimolai and Modolo in Gand-Wevelgem (233 km), but their aims for a top result vanished at only 150 meters to the arrival, when the sprint for the victory had been just begun.

LAMPRE-MERIDA’s two riders could come back in the head group after that the bunch had been stretched by the last passage on Kemmelberg (40 km to go), avoiding also some crashes that knocked out from the race some favourites (for example, Greipel and Farrar).
In the sprint, the efforts influenced Modolo’s action, who had exploited Cimolai’s work as pilot fish.
Modolo was 25th, Degenkolb obtained the victory preceding Demare.

A crash in the middle of the bunch in the approach of Kemmelberg forced Pozzato, Favilli and Richeze to give up their aims for a good result.

With more morale LAMPRE-MERIDA is ready to race Three Days of De Panne (1-3 April). In the selection there will be Bonifazio, Cimolai (photo Bettini archive), Dodi, Favilli, Modolo, Palini and Richeze.

1-Degenkolb 5h34’37″
2- Demare s.t.
3- Sagan s.t.
4- Vanmarcke s.t.
25- Modolo s.t., 30- Cimolai 6″, 119- Palini 8’11″, 128- Favilli 8’11″, 141- Modolo 13’04″

Posted in Northern Classics

The breakaway anticipates the sprint, Ferrari is in the bunch

The strong rear wind helped the attackers in the 6th stage of Volta a Catalunya (El Vendrell-Vilanova i la Geltrú, 163,9 km), allowing the 9 riders that had escaped from the bunch to beat the chase of the bunch.

Team LAMPRE-MERIDA, whose riders missed the breakaway, led the chase of the bunch in the final 40 km, but it could rely only on 4 athletes (Anacona, Durasek, Polanc and Serpa) trying to allow Ferrari to take part in a sprint for the victory.

The aim was made even more difficult by a crash that involved, without consequences, Polanc, so the attackers could defend an advantage of 1′: Clement preceded the breakaway mates.

The bunch reached the arrival 55″ later, Ferrari was 17th.

In photo (Bettini), Winner Anacona.

1- Clement 3h58’44″
2- Molard 3″
3- Serry s.t.
4- Voigt s.t.
17- Ferrari 55″

1- Rodriguez 27h03’13″
2- Contador 4″
3- Van Garderen 7″
4- Bardet 10″
46- Serpa 11’19″

Posted in Volta a Catalunya

Wackermann is 4th in the sprint, Mori crashes and gets injuried

Bittersweat stage for LAMPRE-MERIDA in Coppi e Bartali.

Sport directors Pedrazzini and Righi can be satisfied for the 4th place obtained by Wackermann in the final sprint of the 4rd stage (158,4 km, Crevalcore-Crevalcore), but their satisfaction is reduced by the crash that involved Manuele Mori, causing him a fracture of a finger and a cut at the head.

Wackermann exploited properly the chance that was granted him, also thanks to the help he received by the team mates. In a very fast stage, in fact, the support by the mates in the fight for the best positions was fundamental.
The young gun from LAMPRE-MERIDA was preceded in the bunch sprint by pure sprinters as Viviani (1st), Swift (2nd) and Gasparrini (3rd).

“The course was suitable for high sprints, so it was important to race as with a team spirit in order to be in good positions, especially in the approach to the sprint – sport director Pedrazzini said – Our riders realized a good performance, despite we could not rely on Mori, and Wackermann’s sprint was interesting: he’s not a pure sprinter, but he demonstrate that he can fight in such kind of arrivals”.

A mountain time trial will end the race: 10 km from Pavullo to Castello di Montecuccolo, that will be raced by Valls with the target of defending a place in the top 10. The Spanish climber has an advantage of 54″ on Muccelli, 11th in the overall classification.

1- Viviani 3h15’19″
2- Swift s.t.
3- Gasparrini s.t.
4- Wackermann s.t.
5- Belletti s.t.

1- Kennaugh 10h13’24″
2- Bongiorno 42″
3- Cataldo 1′
4- Rabottini 1’15″
8- Valls 1’42″

Posted in Coppi e Bartali

First tough Belgian foretaste: crashes and inconveniences

Punctures, crashes (photo Bettini) and mechanical accidents: LAMPRE-MERIDA had a foretaste of what the Belgian races are in its forst seasonal appearance in the Classics of the North.

Gp Harelbeke for the blue-fuchsia-green team was characterized by a long series of inconveniences that can change the targets of the riders.

Modolo was the first cyclist from LAMPRE-MERIDA to face a problem: after 120 km in the race, while he was pedaling in the head position of the bunch in the approach of the first demanding hill, he crashed.
Few kilometers later, Favilli had a double puncture that conditioned his race but did not prevent him from giving his support to Pozzato, who was in late because of two inconveniences.

Another crash in the group that involved riders that were pedaling ahead him, forced Pozzato to give up his aims, since he could not join the head group anymore (79th at the arrival at 5’08″ to the winner Sagan).

“This is what Belgian Classics are – sport director Maini explained – We had to face too many problems, that influenced a team performance that, in any case, was not of top level.
In view of the next appointments, it will be important to set the conditions that could allow us to avoid that the inconveniences could influence our performances.
Modolo had a bruise on the back, but I’m sure that our masseurs, thanks to Tecarterapia, will erase the pain”.

1- Sagan 4h56’31″
2- Terpstra s.t.
3- Thomas s.t.
4- Vandenbergh s.t.
79- Pozzato 5’08″

Posted in Northern Classics

Niemiec quits the race, Ferrari fights but misses the sprint

In the 5th stage of Volta a Catalunya (Llanars-Valls, 222,2 km), LAMPRE-MERIDA’s target was to wipe away the frost that had been collected in the previous days and to shake the delusion off for the withdrawals of Niemiec (suffering for the consequences of the gastroenteritis) Horner and Cattaneo.

The reaction by the blue-fuchsia-green team was good and it materialized in the efforts to support Ferrari in view of a possible final sprint.
Some riders from LAMPRE-MERIDA contributed in the chase of the six athletes breakaway that led the race for many kilometers, then the blue-fuchisa-green cyclists helped Ferrari (photo Bettini) in the last obstacle before the sprint: the 2nd category climb of Alt de Lilla, at 8,2 km to the arrival.
Unfortunately, this climb revealed to be too tough for Ferrari, who could not keep the pace of the head of the race.

The sprint was won by Mezgec, second place for Alaphilippe, third position for Dumoulin.

1- Mezgec 5h16’00″
2- Alaphilippe s.t.
3- Dumoulin s.t.
4- Martens s.t.
81- Durasek 15″
100- Serpa 1’36″, 101- Ferrari s.t., 102- Anacona s.t., 103- Polanc s.t.

1- Rodriguez 23h03’34″
2- Contador 4″
3- Van Garderen 7″
4- Bardet 10″
47- Serpa 11’19″

Posted in Volta a Catalunya

Welcome back Valls: Spanish rider is incisive and obtains the 11th place

Coppi e Bartali continues to be ruled by Team Sky, that conquered thanks to Kennaugh also the 2nd stage, 160,2 km from Sant’Angelo di Gatteo to Sogliano al Rubicone.

The course was demanding, considering the five passages on the climb of Ville di Monte Tiffi, the last one at 9 km to go, at it was suitable for those cyclists who could be incisive on the climbs, as Rafael Valls (photo Bettini), Spanish athletes from LAMPRE-MERIDA, who has just come back to races after a two months stop for a broken collarbone.
Valls seemed to be already in a good fit, that allowed him to be in the head bunch of 10 riders when the high pace on the penultimate passage on Gpm caused the selection of the bunch.

In the downhill, Ulissi could join the head group, but on the last passage on Ville di Monte Tiffi he preferred to support team mate Valls, who unfortunately had to face cramps in the approach of the final kilometers.
Kennaugh and Bongiorno attacked on the Gpm and the British rider preceded the Italian one.
Valls reached the arrival in the main chasing group (+57″), obtaining the 11th place, and he’s in the top ten of the overall classification (8th at 1’42″ to Kennaugh)

“Today we achieved one of the targets we had set for Coppi e Bartali – sport director Righi explained – We aimed to check the condition of those riders that, for various reasons, had been out of the races for a long time.
Valls was one of them and today he demonstrated that he recovered in a perfect way from the injury that had stopped him since January.
He behaved in a very professional way during the recovery period and now he could be an added value to our team.

Xu Gang too waited some monthes before starting his season, but he gave us interesting feedbacks, considering that he’s working perfectly in the team and that he’s showing that the feeling with the team mates is good”.

1- Kennaugh 4h20’14″
2- Bongiorno 2″
3- Rabottini 48″
4- Cataldo 50″
5- Pantano 52″
11- Valls 57″
23- Mori 3’29″, 39- Ulissi 6’28″, 48- Bono 13’46″, 56- Xu 14’52″, 68- Conti 18’16″, 85- Wackermann 19’26″

1-Kennaugh 6h58’05″
2- Bongiorno 42″
3- Cataldo 1′
4-Rabottini 1’15″
8- Valls 1’42″

Posted in Coppi e Bartali

Serpa, brave attack in the cold and in the snow

Tough day because of the weather (snow and cold) and tought day for LAMPRE-MERIDA because of the withdrawal of Horner and the digestive problems that afflicted Niemiec, but Serpa could give blue-fuchsia-green team prominence.

Today stage was one of the most demanding of Volta a Catalunya 2014, with 5 climbs in 166,4 km, included the summit arrival in Vallter 2000.
South America climber from LAMPRE-MERIDA (photo Bettini, archive) waited until the penultimate climb to escape from the bunch and, thanks to a very incisive action, to join De Gendt and Plaza, former members of the four riders breakaway that had led the race.

The three attackers could defend a small gap, that was neutralized by the bunch at 8 km to go.
Van Garderen was could win the stage, preceding Bardet, Contador and Rodriguez, who could retain his leadership in the overall classification.

“Today our target was to support Niemiec in the fight for a place in the top ten – sport director Matxin explained – Unfortunately, Przemyslaw had digestive troubles that did not allow him to pedal in the head group. He reached the arrival in late.
Serpa tried to anticipate, attacking in the penultimate climb: good attempt, it’s a pity that top riders did not give enough space to the action.
The other athletes of the team suffered too much the cold, so now we have no more chances in the overall classification. We’ll try to set new targets”.

1- Van Garderen 4h49’30″
2- Bardet s.t.
3- Contador 3″
4- Rodriguez 4″
55- Serpa 9′, 56- Durasek 9’42″, 66- Anacona 15’21″, 96- Polanc 20’12″, 126- Niemiec 25’01″, 155- Ferrari 27′

1- Rodriguez 17h47’34″
2- Contador 4″
3- Van Garderen 7″
4- Bardet 10″
47- Serpa 9’43″

Posted in Volta a Catalunya

Mori is second behind Swift in morning stage

LAMPRE-MERIDA is once again close to the victory.
Manuele Mori fought in the massive sprint that ended the opening demi-stage of Coppi e Bartali (99,5 km, Gatteo-Gatteo), but he could not beat Swift: blue-fuchsia-rider was second, preceding Caruso and Sprengers.

The course, that was enriched by the climb of Sogliano al Rubicone and of Torre di Massamanente, did not select the bunch, that could also easily control the seven riders breakaway.

In the bunch sprint, Mori tried to reply to Swift long sprint, but British rider was too fast.
This is the podium (photo Bettini): Swift, Mori, Caruso.

“Even if I missed the victory, I’m satisfied, because it’s not easy to precede in a sprint a so fast rider such Swift – Mori explained – My team was great in supporting me, Ulissi too gave me his help, so I could start the sprint on Swift’s wheel. I tried to overtake him, but no way for me”.

In the afternoon, LAMPRE-MERIDA obtained the 16th place in a 11,2 km team time trial: each team was split in two groups and the timing of the LAMPRE-MERIDA 1 was 35″ higher than the winning one by Team Sky, while LAMPRE-MERIDA 2 was 35th (+1’05″).

1- Swift 2h22’31″
2- Mori s.t.
3- Caruso s.t.
4- Sprengers s.t.
5- Cecchin s.t.

1- Sky 15’30″
2- Rusvelo +15″
3- Cannondale +18″
4- Neri Sottoli +18″
16- Lampre-Merida 1 +35
35- Lampre-Merida 2 +1’05″

1- Swift
2- Kennaugh 6″
3- Cataldo s.t.
18- Mori 37″

Posted in Coppi e Bartali

LAMPRE-MERIDA for the World Tour Belgian races

LAMPRE-MERIDA is going to take part in two World Tour Belgian races.

The blue-fuchsia-green technical staff selected these riders in order to face Gp Harelbeke (28 March) and Gand-Wevelgem (30 march): Filippo Pozzato (winner in Harelbeke in 2009), Niccolò Bonifazio, Davide Cimolai, Luca Dodi, Elia Favilli, Sacha Modolo, Andrea Palini and Maximiliano Richeze.

Sport directors Maini and Marzano will be supported by masseurs Capelli, Del Gallo and Santerini, by mechanics Baron and Bortoluzzo, by doctor De Grandi and by driver Bozzolo.

Gp Harelbeke and Gand-Wevelgem wil lbe the first Belgian races for the team in 2014, so it will be important for us to have a good approach, also considering that they’re World Tour events – sport director Maini explained – Tomorrow we’ll evaluate how Pozzato, Modolo, Cimolai and Richeze will have recovered from the hard efforts and the cold of Milano-Sanremo: the course is demanding, only top riders win here. For us, it will be important to have a proper team spirit.

Gand-Wevelgem will give more chances to fast wheels, so it could be interesting to check how Modolo will familiarize with this kind of races. Attention also to Pozzato: his skills for Belgian classics is always huge“.

Posted in Northern Classics

Horner: withdrawal for working for Giro d’Italia

Chris Horner won’t be at the start 4th stage of Volta a Catalunya.

Considering the evaluation of the medical staff and the technical staff from Team LAMPRE-MERIDA about the situation of the tendinitis at left Achilles tendon, the American cyclist decided to quit the Spanish race.
In the 3rd stage, Horner (photo Bettini) had good feeling for what concerns the competitiveness, but he also felt that the problems concerning the tendinitis are persisting.

The withdrawal will allow Chris Horner to plan a proper program of recovery and trainings with Giro d’Italia as main target: he’ll also perform some reconnaissance on the courses of the main stages.

Posted in Volta a Catalunya

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