Santambrogio’s stand-out performance at BMC was his fourth-place finish at the recent Tour of Lombardy, but his spell at the team was also clouded by his implication in the Mantova doping inquiry, dating back to his time at Lampre.
Santambrogio was twice withdrawn from racing and then re-instated by BMC, in 2010 and 2011, due to his involvement in the case. He is one of 32 individuals who have been called to a preliminary hearing in December.
“I have to thank BMC for these three years together,” Santambrogio said. “In such an important WorldTour team, I was able to learn, grow and ride with great champions, but at 28 years of age, I wanted to find a team where I could find some space as a leader and play my own card as best as possible.”
Signed to support Cadel Evans in the mountains, Santambrogio rode just one Tour in service of the Australian at BMC, in 2010. Farnese Vini-Selle Italia manager Luca Scinto believes that the Como native has the ability to shine for his new team in the Ardennes classics.
“I’m certain that Mauro will make a big leap in quality with us,” Scinto said. “He’s a strong, mature athlete and he has had important international experience. Let’s not forget that in many classics, he has finished at the front or worked hard right to the last kilometres.
“I’m thinking of Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Lombardy. He’s a rider with great qualities, who will have the chance to express himself as a leader with us.”
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