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Copeland pulled back into Lampre fold

Brent Copeland just can't say no to Lampre. He'll be returning full time to play a role in the squad's leadership for 2009.

Copeland joined Lampre as a director sportif in 1999 at age 27. For the next six years, he directed Oscar Camenzind and Igor Astarloa to success. He also directed then neo-pro Alessandro Ballan, who captured the World Championship title last month.

In 2005, Copeland decided to focus his energies on directing a bike shop in Como, Italy, while also helping with the Team Lampre internet shop. He also directed the South African team at the World Championships for three years. Then in 2008, Comobike became an official Team Lampre sponsor and Copeland returned part-time to the director's seat.

For next year, he has accepted manager Giuseppe Saronni's request to return to Lampre full time and serve as a directeur sportif. "I accepted with great pleasure and satisfaction the request by Saronni," said Copeland. "Lampre is my Italian family: in these 10 years, a beautiful relationship with Saronni and Galbusera family has been born."

"Brent is a modern directeur sportif, who can manage a race with perfect control. His international experience will be very important for Lampre, the team of the World Champion," said Saronni.

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