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LPR Brakes welcomes Caruso

LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini officially welcomed Damiano Caruso to its team today. While they signed the contract last year, the agreement came into effect after Caruso's year as Under 23 Italian Champion ended on Sunday.

"He only is 21, but I think he can do well right away in one-day races. He can mature to do well in races like Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège and to be a stage racer for races like Paris-Nice," LPR Brakes team manager Fabio Bordonali told Cyclingnews.

Caruso, from Sicily, won the Italian championships for under 23 riders last year in Bergamo. He made a deal with former team, Mastromarco, that kept him on the team through the end of June.

One of his last races before joining LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini was the GiroBio, or Baby Giro d'Italia. He won the second stage in Lonato del Garda and finished second on stage seven. The win was a confirmation for Bordonali.

"I was happy to see it. He arrived late in cycling, but he showed well right away in the first races."

Bordonali has scheduled Caruso to participate his first race July 19, the Giro della Reggio-Calabria one-day race. Caruso plans on training with the team's star, Danilo Di Luca, to prepare for this fall's World Championships. Caruso will race the Under 23 Worlds and Di Luca will lead team Italy in the elite men's race.

"We could also see him helping Danilo Di Luca in a race like Giro di Lombardia."

Caruso's contract with LPR Brakes runs through the end of 2011.