Italian sprinter targets stage wins in Australia
The Lampre team has named its seven-rider team for the Tour Down Under, confirming that new sprinter Roberto Ferrari will make his debut with the team in Australia.
Ferrari won a stage of the Giro d'Italia in Montecatini Terme while riding for the Androni Giocattoli but earned his bad boy tag for his fearless sprinting tactics and for bringing down Mark Cavendish and several other riders during the sprint on stage two of the Giro d'Italia to Horsens.
Ferrari will compete for the first time as part of a WorldTour team at the evening Down Under Classic criterium on January 20, where he will likely clash with the best Australian sprinters and usual Tour Down Under contenders such as Andre Greipel.
He will be supported by an experienced leadout train that includes Davide Cimolai, Elia Favilli, Manuele Mori and Daniele Pietropolli and Simone Stortoni. Lloyd will lead the team on the hillier stages that are expected to decide the other overall standings of the Tour Down Under.
"Australia will be the start of something new for me. I'm motivated: I want to test myself against the best sprinters in the WorldTour and I'll have the extra kick of the adrenaline from making my debut with Team Lampre," Ferrari said in a press release issued by the team.
"I'll also have a chance to enter the cycling record books: If I win in Australia, it'll mean my palmares includes a win on each of the five continents because I've already won in Europe, Asia, America and Africa."
The Italian riders will leave for Australia on January 12. Lloyd is already at home, preparing for his home WorldTour race.
"I've been training well in Australia. My goal is to start off the season really well: it'll be important to be ready for the hilly stages, such as stage two which has the climb of Corkscrew Hill. I want to payback the team for the trust they have in me and the Australia fans for their support," Lloyd said.
Lampre has opted for an international debut to the 2013 season in January, with teams also traveling to Argentina for the Tour de San Luis and to the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Africa.