Horner to make his Lampre debut at Challenge Mallorca

American part of a 12-man team

Chris Horner will make his debut in Lampre-Merida colours at the Challenge Mallorca next week.

Lampre-Merida have kept their options open and will make daily decisions on the nine riders who will take the start. Horner will form part of the 12-man team that will compete over the four events that make the Challenge.

The 42-year-old became the oldest winner of a grand tour when he won the Vuelta a España last season. Despite his victory, Horner found himself out of contract with his RadioShack-Leopard team, after he rejected their initial offers. He eventually signed a one-year deal with the Italian squad at the end of January, after a protracted search for a new team.

Along with the American will be Lampre-Merida’s Giro d’Italia leaders Przemyslaw Niemiec and Damiano Cunego. Sprinters Diego Ulissi and Maximiliano Richeze also make the list of 12 riders to race on the Spanish island. World Champion Rui Costa will travel from racing at the Tour of Dubai, which finished today (Saturday), to join the team in Mallorca

The Challenge Mallorca consists of four single-day races, which begins with the sprinters’ course Trofeo Palma on Sunday. Ulisi is likely to be their main hope there, the young Italian already kicking off his season with a stage win at the Tour Down Under. Horner's chances will come on the more mountainous Trofeo Ses Salines-Campos-Santanyì and Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana. The Challenge concludes on Wednesday with the lumpy, 160km Trofeo Muro-Port d’Alcudia.

Lampre-Merida for Challenge Mallorca: Chris Horner, Damiano Cunego, Diego Ulissi, Sacha Modolo, Maximiliano Richeze, Przemyslaw Niemiec, Josè Serpa, Kristijan Durasell, Jan Polanc, Rui Costa, Nelson Oliveira and Mattia Cattaneo.

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