Mori extends with Lampre-Merida
After ensuring that they are safe for another few seasons, Lampre-Merida continues to solidify its roster for 2015. The Italian team have announced that Manuele Mori will ride at least another year with them. The 34-year-old joined Lampre in 2009 and rode in support of Przemyslaw Niemiec at this year’s Giro d’Italia.
“It's a big satisfaction for me to have the opportunity to race for the seventh season in the same team, it means to me that I worked in the best way. I thank the team management, the sponsors and the staff: the team is like a second family for me,” said Mori.
On Wednesday, the team also announced the signing of the first Taiwanese professional cyclist in Chun Kai Feng. Feng has won his national road title three times and the took time trial championship in 2013.
Didi the Devil retires
Didi the Devil has finally decided to put down his trident and retire at the age of 62, according to the German newspaper Bild. The 62-year-old, whose real name is Dieter Senft, cited ill health and a lack of sponsorship as his reasons. Senft told the paper that the money earned by sponsorship has dwindled to just 500 Euro a month, partially due to German television's refusal to show the Tour de France.
Senft first made an appearance at the 1993 Tour de France but has since expanded to the World Championships, the Giro d’Italia and many of the cycling’s biggest events. His eccentric nature and devil costume has given him cult status to cycling fans around the world and led to a number of companies sponsoring him. He missed his first Tour de France in 2012 after undergoing an operation for a blood clot.
SEG Racing add Bokeloh and Leemans
Dutch development team SEG Racing has added junior world champion Jonas Bokeloh. The German rider come up trumps in the bunch sprint in Ponferrada, making it a clean sweep for the nation in the junior category after his compatriot Lennard Kamna won the time trial.
The team have also signed 21-year-old Lotto-Belisol development rider Rob Leemans.
Santambrogio: Doping had little to do with my performances in 2013
Mauro Santambrogio will return to racing next season with Ivan Fanini’s Amore & Vita squad after serving a reduced suspension of 18 months for his positive test for EPO at the 2013 Giro d’Italia. His ban was reduced after he provided testimony to the Cycling Independent Reform Commission earlier this year and he said that the confession had released a burden.
“I’ve admitted my guilt. I’m 100 per cent responsible for what happened to me and confessing was a kind of liberation. I couldn’t carry that enormous weight anymore,” Santambrogio told Tuttobici, although he later claimed that doping had not been the most significant factor behind his strong showing at the 2013 Giro, when he rode for Vini Fantini-Selle Italia.
“In 2013, I showed great things as I was enjoying greater freedom,” he said. “I repeat: I made a mistake, but doping had little to do with my performances and I’ll show that in 2015.”
Santambrogio also revisited the evening in October 2013 when he appeared to threaten suicide in a post on Twitter, and thanked the outpouring of support he received from a number of Italian journalists. “It hurts me to think back to those hours when my life could have finished tragically,” he said. “If I’m here today I owe it to [RAI Sport presenter] Alessandra De Stefano and other journalists who managed to intervene effectively after seeing my messages on the web.”