Ferrari spent the past two campaigns at Savio’s Androni set-up, and he enjoyed his greatest success at this year’s Giro d’Italia, winning stage 11 with a smart uphill sprint in Montecatini Terme. That win came after a difficult opening to the race for the Italian sprinter, who was relegated after causing a crash in the finishing straight on stage 3 in Horsens.
A native of nearby Gavardo, Ferrari will doubtless be motivated by prospect of the final stage of the 2013 Giro d’Italia, which finishes in Brescia, although at Lampre-ISD, he will have to dovetail his efforts with those of veteran sprinter Alessandro Petacchi. The pair already raced together at LPR Brakes earlier in 2008 and 2009.
“I’m really very happy, I couldn’t find a better evolution for my career,” Ferrari said. “In recent years, I’ve drawn a lot of satisfaction from the qualities as a sprinter. Now I want to take on a new experience. Beyond that, it will be fascinating to ride on the same team as Petacchi, a rider of absolute class. With the sporting directors, we’ll decide on what race programme is best suited to me.”
As well as picking up the 28-year-old Ferrari, whose palmares includes the Memorial Pantani (2009) and the Giro del Friuli (2010), Lampre-ISD has also signed Filippo Pozzato from Farnese Vini-Selle Italia in a bid to ensure it retains its WorldTour status for 2013.
With a number of figures within the team – including Damiano Cunego and manager Giuseppe Saronni – waiting to hear if they will be formally charged as part of the Mantova-based doping inquiry, and with Michele Scarponi implicated in the Padova-based investigation into Dr. Michele Ferrari’s activities, Lampre-ISD faces a potentially trying winter.
“Awaiting the UCI’s confirmation of our WorldTour status, we’re pleased to be able to offer Roberto the chance to test himself at that level,” Saronni said of his latest signing. “Given his results in recent years and the quality he has shown on the road, I think that Ferrari is ready for this new challenge. His presence in the team alongside Petacchi will give us a very competitive sprint department.”
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