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.
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