After the Giro is before the Dauphiné
After the Giro is before the DauphinéFor TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA the Giro d’Italia was an overwhelming success: The riders in blue, fuchsia and MERIDA green managed to win no less than four stages. Next up is the Critérium du Dauphiné where Rui Costa will be the team’s captain and overall contender.
At the press conference before the start of this year’s Giro d’Italia, various riders of TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA stressed that their personal ambition was to win a stage. And this dream became reality for three of the team’s riders: On the fifth day Jan Polanc won the race’s first mountaintop finish in Abetone, giving MERIDA’s new SCULTURA road bike a perfect debut. Two days later Diego Ulissi was the strongest rider in the tough finale in Fiuggi, winning the longest stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia. These two stage wins in the first week of the race were a welcome compensation for the fact that the team had no real overall competitor in its ranks.
But things were to get even better for TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA. In the first couple of bunch sprints it’s designated sprinter Sacha Modolo had not managed to come to the fore. But that changed in Jesolo, close to his place of birth: After a perfect lead-out by his team mates Roberto Ferrari and Max Richeze, Sacha Modolo sprinted to what was the first Giro d’Italia stage win of his career. During the next couple of days the sprint train in blue, fuchsia and MERIDA green managed to survive some tough mountain stages. This was rewarded by another stage win for Sacha Modolo in Lugano, courtesy of another perfect lead-out by Roberto Ferrari and Max Richeze.
From MERIDA’s perspective the Giro d’Italia unfolded perfectly as the brand’s director of sports marketing Andreas Rottler explains: „Getting a stage win at the first mountaintop finish by Jan Polanc aboard our new SCULTURA road bike was over the top. The entire TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA has been doing a great job and has shown an impressive performance. As we did not habe any ambitions for the overall standings the team was focussing on stage wins - and this worked out four times on stages with vastly different profiles. Another indicator for the strength of the team is the fact that eight of the original nine riders made it all the way to Milano.“
The next big race for TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA ist the 67th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné: This stage race in the mountainous Haute Savoye region features eight stages, including a team time trial and four mountain stages, and is considered as an ideal test of form before the Tour de France. After three consecutive overall wins at the Tour de Suisse, Rui Costa is competing in France this year. He’ll get crucial support from riders such as Nelson Oliveira, Rafael Valls and Rubén Plaza who are also scheduled to form the core of the team that is to support Rui Costa in France come July.