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Cunego leads Lampre-Merida at the Tour de France

By:
Cycling News
Published:
June 25, 2013, 09:47,
Updated:
June 25, 2013, 15:37
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Race:
Tour de France
Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida) after the finish

Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida) after the finish

  • Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida) after the finish
  • Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida)
  • Damiano Cunego put in a spirited performance

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Niemiec and Ferrari also in the line-up

Damiano Cunego will lead Lampre-Merida at the Tour de France, while there is also a berth in the team for Przemyslaw Niemiec, who makes his debut in the race at the age of 33 after impressing en route to 6th place overall at the Giro d’Italia last month.

Cunego returns to the Tour after a one-year absence and will be hoping to repeat his performance of 2011, when he finished in 6th place after climbing in the leading group for much of the race. A stage win at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali in March aside, Cunego has had a low-key start to the season thus far, although he showed flashes of form towards the end of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

While Cunego and Niemiec will lead the line in the mountains, aided by José Serpa, Adriano Malori will take aim at the race’s two individual time trials. Malori’s fine win in May’s Bayern-Rundfahrt was founded on victory in the time trial, and he finished 3rd at the Italian championships in the discipline on Sunday.

In the absence of the retired Alessandro Petacchi, sprinter Roberto Ferrari is called into action for his second Grand Tour of the season. The Italian is without a win since joining Lampre during the off-season and he struggled to make an impact in the bunch finishes at the Giro.

Lampre’s Tour line-up also includes Matteo Bono as well as Tour debutants Elia Favilli, Manuele Mori and Davide Cimolai.

Lampre’s directeurs sportifs at the Tour will be Bruno Vicino and Orlando Maini. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Fabrizio Bontempi and Maurizio Piovani were originally slated to be at the helm in France but will not now be at the Tour due to their involvement in a hearing resulting from the Mantova anti-doping investigation, which is due to take place on July 19. The long-running inquiry is centred around pharmacist Guido Nigrelli and his links to the Lampre team in 2008 and 2009.

 

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Adrian Nastasoiu More than 1 year ago
Niemiec won't be much of a figure in the mountains with Giro in his legs.Does anyone think that Cunego is capable of winning a stage this year?
andrew1991 More than 1 year ago
I think he could finish in the top 10, but, if I were him, I would try going for a stage win and target the mountain classification jersey. If his goal is to target a good finish in the overall classification he will lack support, Niemiec should be tired, Serpa's performance gets weaker every season, that will only leave him with Bono to help him out.
Tim Turnage More than 1 year ago
I like Cunego, but he is a shell of his former self. No way will he make a dent in the Tour. His best days are way behind him, and Lampre needs a complete overhaul.
andrew1991 More than 1 year ago
They have Ulissi, but they are barelly letting him lead the team in a World Tour race. They also have Mattia Cattaneo, which I think turned pro a little late (should have been last season), and Winner Anacona.
Lord.Bachus More than 1 year ago
Why does this sound like a 2nd rate team with this line up, tough maybe they will surprise us all.
cthenn More than 1 year ago
Totally agree. Lampre needs to discover new riders, this team feels old and stale. Ferrari is your big off-season sprinter signing?
srsplato More than 1 year ago
Why bother, Cunego can't even come close to a top 10 at the Tour this year. It was just a fluke when he won the Giro. He is not made for 3 week tours.
jayreeding More than 1 year ago
I think he could get a top ten if there are no hiccups along the way, like a crash or a really bad day in the mountains. I've always liked the little prince and he has proven to be a good work horse over the years. One does have to wonder how he wasn't relegated to super-domestic status for the GT and leader for some of the hillier classics, seems like that role could be perfectly suited for his abilities.
Paulo Pereira More than 1 year ago
two years ago he finish 6 overall a good result is best performance since 2004 giro
PhrediePhly More than 1 year ago
hope the kid has found some new undetectable go-juice, otherwise see you in the broom wagon