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Petacchi to start with Omega Pharma-Quickstep August 1

By:
Cycling News
Published:
July 13, 2013, 20:45,
Updated:
July 13, 2013, 21:44
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Saturday, July 13, 2013
Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre - Merida)

Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre - Merida)

  • Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre - Merida)
  • Alessandro Petacchi didn't look to happy
  • 2013 Giro d'Italia runner-up Rigoberto Uran (Sky)
  • Rigoberto Uran (Sky)

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Team in discussion with Uran

The Omega Pharma-Quickstep team just racked up its fourth stage win in the 2013 Tour de France, and is already looking to reinforce the squad. Team manager Patrick Lefevere confirmed that retired sprinter Alessandro Petacchi will join the team from August 1, 2013 for the subsequent 14 months.

Lefevere also said he has been in discussion with Colombian climber Rigobert Uran, now with Sky, but that nothing has been inked as of yet.

"I will fly to Italy in early August for the signatures," Lefevere said according to Sporza.be. "You may talk to riders, but before August 2 you cannot complete transfers, per the UCI."

Lefevere had hoped to bring in Petacchi sooner, in order to boost the lead-out train for Mark Cavendish, but the UCI nixed the plan as the transfer occurred outside the window, despite the fact that Petacchi had ended his contract with Lampre-Merida in April. The Italian is tired of the pressures of being designated sprinter, and wants to step back into a lead-out role.

Uran would be a prime Grand Tour contender for the team. The silver medalist at the Olympics in London emerged as the Sky team's Giro d'Italia contender after the departure of Bradley Wiggins, and took second overall to Vincenzo Nibali.

Omega Pharma CEO Marc Coucke also stated today that his company is putting "4 to 5 million in the team" every year, but that it is worth it for the "continuous visibility".

"Moreover, our total marketing budget amounts to 120 million, so 4 to 5 million is small. But if only everything would yield as much as the cycling sponsorship ... "

Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
If Uran leaves Sky, unless they find some new signings, they seem to be getting weaker every passing year.
barn yard More than 1 year ago
uran would be a kind of odd fit for this team. he is too good to be allowed to stage hunt in breaks but the team does not really seem set up for a run at any grand tour's GC... but who knows.
WilGirod'Italia More than 1 year ago
Yes, the team looks built around Cav - now with Trentin-Petacchi-Cav a train made of Tour stage winners !
Rob Alan More than 1 year ago
and steegmans and chavanel both tour stage winners. Renshaw also joining the team. Don't know what Uran would be doing joining the team. He might get leadership for the Vuelta, but not for the tour with such a sprinting and classics focus of the team
Peter von More than 1 year ago
true dat. But Uran is still young and he is a pure climber so he won't be put to work on the flat stages like Kwiatkowski have been, Uran can do good on his own and if starts looking like a future winner Quick-Step will start showing him greater support or loose him to a tema that will.
Steven Nicholson More than 1 year ago
i thought the reason Cav joined OPQS was to be team leader in GT's and go for stage win's. if they sign Uran then surely it leaves Cavendish in the same situation as he was at Sky.
Astro Zolilles More than 1 year ago
Cav has his lead out guys /3/, dont worry about him. Uram gets likely 4 guys for help.