LAMPRE-MERIDA back on the podium in Giro del Trentino, thanks to Przemyslaw Niemiec, who obtained the 2nd place in the 2nd stage (Limone sul Garda-San Giacomo di Brentonico, 164,5 km).
The summit arrival was conquered by Zardini, who preceded the blue-fuchsia-green Polish rider: Zardini had attacked when there were 5 km to go, behind him a hard battle began.
Niemiec tried to got back up to him in the final kilometer, together with Duarte and Evans, but he could not cross for first the finish line.
Niemiec preceded Duarte and Evans (photo Bettini): the Australian rider is the new leader of the overall classification, Niemiec is 3rd at 17″ to Evans and at 8″ to the second place of Zardini.
Good performance by Anacona too: he was 13th at 49″.
“First of all, I’d like to tribute my compliments to Zardini, who managed to complete his winning action: at 4 km to go, he had 150 meters of advantage on the chasing group in which I was pedaling, then he increased his advantage and he could defend it until the arrival – Niemiec said – At 3000 meters to the arrival the battle began in the chasing group: Aru attacked and opened a series of counter attacks. I preferred to go on pedaling on a regular pace, I think it was the proper solution, that in fact allowed me to get back on the other riders and to save energies for an attack.
I tried to escape at 600 mt to go, but Evans and Duarte followed me. In the final sector, the climb was light, the speed raised up and so no other attacks were possible.
I missed the victory, I hope it will come to me soon. Meanwhile, I can be satisfied for my performance, especially in view of Giro d’Italia: I had good feedbacks for what concerns the frantic moments of attacks and I also had good feelings in those moments during which we pedaled on a higher pace”.
1- Zardini 4h25’39″
2- Niemiec 19″
3- Duarte s.t.
4- Evans s.t.
5- Pozzovivo 23″
13- Anacona 49″, 57- Conti 4’32″, 70- Xu 6’55″, 81- Dodi 8’18″, 82- Serpa 9’14″, 100- Favilli 11’49″, 101- Ferrari s.t.
1- Evans 4h04’10″
2- Zardini 9″
3- Niemiec 17″
4- Duarte 23″
5- Machado 24″
13- Anacona 53″
The opening stage of Giro del Trentino 2014 was the only one without climbs.
The 13,4 km team time trial from Riva del Garda to Arco was, in fact, completely flat, on the contrary of how will be the next three stages, all with summit arrival.
LAMPRE-MERIDA (photo Bettini), in which Ferrari took the place of Polanc (stopped by the wrosening of the hip injuriy that was caused by the crash that had occurred in Volta al Pais Vasco)obtained a result that lived up to the expectation:8th place at 33″ to BMC’s time. BMC rules the stage: NetApp, 2nd, was at 19″, Team Sky (3rd) at 19″.
Oss is the leader of the overall classification, all LAMPRE-MERIDA’s riders are at 33″.
“Considering the technical characteristics of the riders that we selected for Giro del Trentino, the result is proper for our skills – sport director Maini said – The team spirit was good as the coordination was. Maybe we could have reduce the gap of more or less 5″ if we would have not make some little mistakes.
The time trial was important for Niemiec, Anacona and Ferrari, who will probably take part in Giro d’Italia: today they pedalled also with the aim of improving the coordination in view of the team time trial of Belfast”.
1- BMC 14’02″
2- NetApp 15″
3- Sky 19″
4- Movistar 22″
5- Cannondale 23″
8- Lampre-Merida 33″
LAMPRE-MERIDA trio of starts (Rui Costa, Ulissi and Cunego) could not hit the target in Amstel Gold Race, that was won by Gilbert on Vanendert and Gerrans.
Rui Costa was 17th, Ulissi 34th, Durasek 48th, Cunego 50th and Valls 57th.
“Amstel is very complicated, the pace is always high and the continuous bends don’t give you time to recover energies – Rui Costa explained – Today I could appreciate the feedbacks linked to the hard work I did in view of the Ardenne week: I think my form is going to improve during the next days, aiming to be protagonist in Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
Today I tried to be in the head positions in the key moments, but this is not always simple: as an example, it has been very difficult to do it in the approach of the last passage on Cauberg, it has been necessary a huge effort to be in the head of the bunch.
After the summit, I tried to anticipate to have higher chances to be in the top ten, but my attempt had not luck”.
Cunego analyzed his race in this way: “It was a strange edition of Amstel: no selection in the group, this means higher stress in the fight for approaching the climbs in the head positions.
I think that, despite the perfect support by the team, I spent energies in trying to be in the proper positions in the key climbs of the course.
The race had become more suitable to athlete capable to perform strong attacks, such Gilbert, and less to pure climbers.
This morning I was aware I could obtain an interesting result, but I could not achieve my goals: I’m not down, I’m ready to face the next races”.
Diego Ulissi lived a difficult day: “I started the race and I had not good feelings. I expected that, kilometer after kilometer, the situation could be better, but I was suffering and I had to set a defensive way of racing.
This means that I could not compete in the final part of the race for a result.
I’m sorry, days like this sometimes happen: now, I focus my attention on Fleche Wallone”.
Very interesting performance by Mattia Cattaneo: he did not complete the race, but his support to the team captains, joined to the one by Matteo Bono, was perfect.
1- Gilbert 6h25’57″
2- Vanendert 5″
3- Gerrans 6″
4- Valverde s.t.
5- Kwiatkowski s.t.
17- Rui Costa 12″
34- Ulissi 36″, 48- Durasek 1’01″, 50- Cunego s.t., 57- Valls 1’32″
Niemiec has tested the roads of four stage of Giro d’Italia 2014: a useful reconnaissance for his upcoming participation at the Giro.
The Polish climber, who was 6th in the past Pink Race, covered the course of the time trial Barbaresco-Barolo (12th stage); the climb to Oropa, that will be at the end of the 14th stage; the summit arrival of Rifugio Panarotta (18th stage) and the mountain time trial of Monte Grappa (19th stage).
As usual, Giro del Trentino will be suitable for riders, that will fight on climbs from 22 to 25 April.
This is LAMPRE-MERIDA’s selection: Anacona, Conti, Dodi, Favilli, Niemiec, Polanc, Serpa and Xu Gang.
Team will be directed by Orlando Maini and Marco Marzano, who’ll receive the support by mechanics Possoni, Tiede, Viganò, masseurs Baron Wais, Capelli and Chiodini, driver Bozzolo and physician De Grandi.
Anacona and Niemiec, that will probably will be members of the team for Giro d’Italia, will test their form on three summit arrivals (San Giacomo di Brentonico, 2nd stage; Roncone, 3rd stage; Monte Bondone 4th stage).
Favilli, who had to face some unlucky events in Belgian Classics, will try to be in the heat of the race. Conti will check his fit after the knee injury, while Polanc will come back to races after he quitted Volta a Catalunya because of a bruised hip.
Dodi and Xu Gang, who are also good rouleur, will be useful for the opening team time trial and they’ll also support the team mates.
Serpa, who has already won one race in 2014 (Trofeo Laigueglia) could try solo actions.
Niemiec, after the end of Giro del Trentino, will fly to Belgium to take part in Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
LAMPRE-MERIDA is going to come back to the North, this time to face the Ardenne Classics.
This is the races schedule and the selections of blue-fuchsia-green cyclists:
- Amstel Gold Race (20 April, 251 km from Maastricht to Valkenburg): Bono, Cattaneo, Cunego, Durasek, Oliveira, Rui Costa, Valls, Ulissi.
- Fleche Wallone (23 April, 199 km from Bastogne to Huy): Bono, Cattaneo, Cunego, Durasek, Oliveira, Rui Costa, Valls, Ulissi.
- Liegi-Bastogne-Liegi (27 April, 263 km): Bono, Cattaneo, Cunego, Niemiec, Oliveira, Rui Costa, Valls, Ulissi.
Sport director Matxin will be supported by the colleague Daniele Righi. In the team staff: masseurs Della Torre, Napolitano and Redaelli, mechanics Pengo and Romanò and physician Beltemacchi.
“Anyone who knows me is aware that I’m ambitious, but also realistic - Rui Costa explained - Opponents are strong, we’ll try hard to do our best.
In Ardenne Classics I hope to be better than in Vuelta al Pais Vasco: I worked hard to be on well physically in these Classics and I’ll give my best, as I always do in every race.
The Ardenne Classics are important races, I really love to take part in them.
Me and Team LAMPRE-MERIDA will do our utmost to honor the rainbow jersey and the team’s sponsors“.
During his career, Damiano Cunego was on the podium of all the three races: “I love Ardenne Classics and I have always managed to be competitive.
This year, one of the main goal on my path towards the competitiveness was the Ardenne Classics week, that’s why I worked in order to be ready to face Amstel, Fleche Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
In Vuelta al Pais Vasco I had very good feelings, the feedbacks I got were amazing, so I only ask to have luck in order to try to be protagonist“.
Diego Ulissi is the third star in LAMPRE-MERIDA selection: “My morale is very good, I really want to fight on every meter to prove our team is strong: Rui Costa, Cunego and too quality team mates can really be protagonists in the Ardenne.
This is the fourth year I face Ardenne Classics, each season I added experience to my racer profile, so I think I could be ready to have a place among the top cyclists, maybe especially in Fleche Wallone“.
In the afternoon of Wednesday 16 April, Chris Horner left Lecco hospital, where he had been admitted on Friday 11 April after that he had been victim of an accident while he was training on Como Lake roads.
The American cyclist, that in the crash had a punctured lung, four broken ribs, cuts in his head and bruises on the elbow, was authorized to go home in his Como house, considering that the lung drainage was completed.
Horner, who was reached in Italy by his wife, will be constantly monitored by the medical staff from LAMPRE-MERIDA.
“I’m happy I can come back home, it was a bad experience, but I also think I was lucky: the crash could have had worse consequences – Horner explained – I thank everyone who supported me, especially nurses and doctors in hospital and all the members of Team LAMPRE-MERIDA.
I still feel pains when I move, I know I’ must be patient, I hope I can soon pedal on the rollers”.
Paris-Roubaix is over, but 2014 season will give the chance to the cyclists to face again the cobblestones.
In the 5th stage of Tour de France, in fact, the bunch will cover 9 cobblestones sectors in the 164 km from Ypres to Arenberg.
Team LAMPRE-MERIDA performed a recon on the 15400 meters of cobblestones that will be covered during Grand Boucle.
On a Mitsubishi Outlander team car, sport director Marco Marzano and general coordinator Andrea Appiani (photo) covered all the 9 sectors, shooting videos and taking notes that will be an useful basis of info that will be precious for the next recon of blue-fucsia-green cyclists.
“This was a great job that will give our riders the chance to make the recon already aware of the main characteristics of the cobblestones sectors they’ll cover: the cyclists will have only to focus their attention on feeling comfortable on the stones – team manager Copeland pointed out – The videos and the written notes wil be useful also to our sport directors”.
Crashes, punctures, mechanical problems: they’re all elements that all the teams partecipating in Paris-Roubaix must face.
Despite the efforts by the riders and the team staff, LAMPRE-MERIDA could not be in the head of the race, obtaining the 50th place by Pozzato and the 80th by Palini.
Terpstra won the race, preceding Degenkolb and Cancellara.
“When you have to face two punctures and in a topic moment another rider hit your derailleur, it’s very difficult to be still competitive, despite any efforts or a aquite good form – Pozzato explained – I was happy because I could exit from the forest in the head positions, but then I had two punctured tyres.
At 40 km to go, when Cancellara attacked, the problem with the derailleur, accidentally hit by an opponents, stopped all my aims.
It’s a pity, my legs were good”.
Cimolai was stopped by a puncture at 80 km to go, in the cobblestones sector from Hornaing to Wandignies: “I was doubly unlucky, because I had the puncture in the same moment of Pozzato: in those events, it’s almost impossible to come back to the main group.
So, this accident ended a race that was quite good for me, considering that I was in the head positions after Arenberg”.
Modolo could not exit Arenberg Forest: “I had a puncture and my wheel slided on a stone, so I crashed. I hit my chest on the ground, I felt pain and I could not come back on the bike.
I’m quite angry because I was feeling comfortable on the cobblestones, I had no problem in driving my bike and I think I would have been competitive in my debut in Paris-Roubaix”.
LAMPRE-MERIDA back on the podium in Giro del Trentino, thanks to Przemyslaw Niemiec, who obtained the 2nd place in the 2nd stage (Limone sul Garda-San Giacomo di Brentonico, 164,5 km). … Continue reading