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Lampre and Merida renew sponsorship of WorldTour team

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The Lampre Merida riders at the start of stage 7 at the Vuelta

The Lampre Merida riders at the start of stage 7 at the Vuelta (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lampre Merida in team time trial mode

Lampre Merida in team time trial mode (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) leads over the last KOM

Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) leads over the last KOM (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Mountain classification victor, Chun Kai Feng (Gusto)

Mountain classification victor, Chun Kai Feng (Gusto) (Image credit: Tour de Taiwan 2014 / Sonoko Tanaka)

The only Italian squad remaining in the WorldTour has renewed both of its title sponsors. Lampre and Merida will remain title sponsors of the team of Giuseppe Saronni through 2016, the team announced today.

The squad will begin preparing for its 21st season with a camp in Darfo Boario Terme, Italy in the first week of December.

Merida, a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer, has been happy with the team. "The feedback from the team and its riders has been of great value for Merida to further optimise our road bikes," said William Jeng, Merida's vice president. "Our company entered the WorldTour with Team Lampre-Merida, and after two seasons we can only come to a thoroughly positive summary of this partnership."

The team signed its first Taiwanese rider, Chun Kai Feng, to its roster for 2015, a move which helped to secure the renewed support of Merida. "He will be the first rider from Taiwan to compete at cycling's highest level, the World Tour. All of this has convinced Merida to extend the existing title sponsor contract until the end of 2016," Jeng said.

The Lampre-Merida team has yet to announce its complete roster for 2015, but said it would not renew with 2013 Vuelta a España winner Chris Horner. The team said goodbye to long-time rider Damiano Cunego, who left for Nippo-Vini Fantini, as wel as Winner Anacona, who signed with Movistar.