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Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre - N.G.C.) rode his standard road bike to a 10th place finish.
Learning experience for young riders
Italy's team Lampre came away from the July's Tour de France disappointed, said sports director Maurizio Piovani. It finished last in team earnings, rival team Liquigas finished third.
"Overall it was not positive. We were visible but we did not have concrete results," Piovani told Cyclingnews Thursday.
Swiss David Loosli was Lampre's highest place rider in the overall classification after three weeks, 53rd. Italy's Daniele Righi, Poland's Marcin Sapa and Slovenia's Simon Spilak featured in various escape groups on different stages. Righi took the team's highest placing, sixth, in stage 14 to Besançon.
Lampre ended the race last in team earnings, €17,040. Its rival Italian team in the race, Liquigas, finished third with €362,850. Liquigas' Franco Pellizotti won the mountains and aggressive rider classification, and Vincenzo Nibali was seventh overall and second in the young riders' classification.
Lampre's classification hopeful, Italian Marzio Bruseghin, crashed in stage two and had a terrible day in stage four's team time trial. He ended the race in 80th, far from his third overall in the 2008 Giro d'Italia. World Champion Alessandro Ballan, who had minimal training because of a virus this spring, came close to winning stage 19 to Aubenas.
"We hoped that Ballan would be able to find top condition. On the day to Aubenas, we could see that he had gained a lot of condition at the Tour. This is a good sign for the end of the season." He was in an escape that the main group caught 1300 metres to the finish line.
Ballan will race the Tour of Poland next and then prepare for the World Championships at the Vuelta a España with Damiano Cunego. Piovani said Spilak and Bandiera learnt a lot in their first Tour de France. Both riders will race Spain's one-day race, Clásica San Sebastián, today.