The Lampre-Farnese Vini team has confirmed that Michele Scarponi will ride for the team in 2011.
Riders can officially sign contracts for the coming season on August 1 and with Androni Giocattoli team manager Gianni Savio already confirming that Scarponi will change teams in 2011, Lampre were able to break the news in a video interview with Scarponi.
Lampre team manager Giuseppe Saronni confirmed that Scarponi has signed a two-year contract and will be the team’s leader for one-week and three-week stage races. The arrival of Scarponi is strong indication that long-time team leader Damiano Cunego is set to leave Lampre at the end of the season.
“Scarponi always fires up the enthusiasm of the tifosi when the road heads into the hills. He’s a fighter, who knows how to combine his generosity and class. We decided to sign Michele to give him the important job of leading the team in stage races. He’s shown he can be competitive in races like Tirreno-Adriatico and the Giro d’Italia,” Saronni said.
Scarponi won Tirreno-Adriatico in 2009, was a close second this year and finished fourth overall in the Giro d’Italia. He was implicated in Operación Puerto in 2006 and served a ban starting in 2007 after a long investigation by the Italian Olympic Committee. He made a comeback in 2009 with Androni Giocattoli.
“Everything seems in place for me to do well and to plan ahead for a great season. I’m pleased that Saronni and his sponsors have decided to put their faith in me,” Scarponi said in a statement issued by the Lampre team.
“I want to thank my current team and teammates with whom I’ll ride with to the end of the season. It’s also thanks to them that I’ve had the chance to do well and earn the attention of the Lampre-Farnese Vini team.”