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TJ Sport Consultation to take over Lampre-Merida's WorldTour licence

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Giuseppe Saronni gives a special memorial jersey

Giuseppe Saronni gives a special memorial jersey
(Image credit: TJ-Sport)
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A toast was made to the success of the first Chinese WorldTour team

A toast was made to the success of the first Chinese WorldTour team
(Image credit: TJ-Sport)
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Giuseppe Saronni and Jun Li Zhiqiang after the signing of the deal

Giuseppe Saronni and Jun Li Zhiqiang after the signing of the deal
(Image credit: TJ-Sport)
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The moment the deal was signed

The moment the deal was signed
(Image credit: TJ-Sport)
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Giuseppe Saronni talks during the announcement

Giuseppe Saronni talks during the announcement
(Image credit: TJ-Sport)
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Diego Ulissi takes a selfie of himself and his teammates outside their garage

Diego Ulissi takes a selfie of himself and his teammates outside their garage
(Image credit: Lampre-Merida)
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Mauro Gianetti is the new co-ordinator of the team

Mauro Gianetti is the new co-ordinator of the team
(Image credit: TJ-Sport)
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Thumbs up from everyone involved

Thumbs up from everyone involved
(Image credit: TJ-Sport)
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The men behind the sale of the Lampre team to China: Giuseppe Saronni, Orlando Govi and Mauro Gianetti

The men behind the sale of the Lampre team to China: Giuseppe Saronni, Orlando Govi and Mauro Gianetti
(Image credit: TJ-Sport)
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Mauro Gianetti after the agreement

Mauro Gianetti after the agreement
(Image credit: TJ-Sport)
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Govi, Saronni and Giannetti with representatives of the Champion System clothing brand

Govi, Saronni and Giannetti with representatives of the Champion System clothing brand
(Image credit: TJ-Sport)
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The presentation of the Chinese WorldTour team

The presentation of the Chinese WorldTour team
(Image credit: TJ-Sport)

At a press conference in Beijing, Chinese company TJ Sport Consultation were announced as the new license holders of Italian team Lampre-Merida. TJ Sport Consultation replaces CGS Cycling as the holding agent to create China's first WorldTour team from the 2017 season onwards. A Chinese naming rights sponsor is to be announced.

A statement from Lampre-Merida team read, "The goals of the team will be the achievement of a high level of competitiveness in the Tour de France and the development of the Chinese cycling in view of the participation to the next Olympic Games."

There was conjecture regarding the immediate future of the Lampre-Merida team following the announcement that team principal Brent Copeland would be joining the new Bahrain-Merida project with Merida as the team bicycle supplier and co-sponsor.

Besides the professional aspect of the team, there will be an emphasis on the growth of cycling in society as the team press release added.

"One of the commitment of TJ Sport Consultation, whose president is Mr Li Zhiqiang, is the development of the cycling in all its usage purposes: cycling as a means of transport which promotes a sustainable mobility and cycling as sports to be developed in all its disciplines and categories," read the team statement.

Former Swiss professional Mauro Gianetti has been named as "coordinator" of the project having previously held the role of team manager at  Saunier Duval–Prodir between 2004-2011.

The team sponsors, staff and rider roster is to be announced in coming weeks.