The Lampre-Merida team today announced it has been renewed for the UCI WorldTour for the next two years. The team will be the home of new world champion Rui Costa for 2014.
"We would like to express utmost satisfaction for the renewal of the World Tour Licence, as confirmed by the Licensing commission and the International Cycling Union," the team stated today.
The announcement comes as the prosecutors in the Italian doping investigation in Mantova set a date for the trail of January 24, 2014, involving several past Lampre riders as well as current member Damiano Cunego - who has continued to express his innocence on the matter - as well as manager Giuseppe Saronni and directeur sportif Fabrizio Bontempi.
The team stated, "Aware of the technicalities and procedures pending before the prosecutor of Mantova and the realisation of the time needed to clarify the case," the team confirmed "no involvement of the team in this case, at the same time confirming full trust in the institution".
The team stated that the two-year extension allowed it time to "manage and organise the necessary changes needed before the proposal of the UCI new World Tour project is put into practice", including planning sporting criteria and ethical principles, investing in youth development and a Continental feeder team in addition to its Pro Team, a shift to a reduced required average age of the Pro Team to 26 years of age, as well as "widespread and in-depth education of culture at every level and for every individual employee".