Top10 results at races in fall
Top10 results at races in fall
When the world championships and the Giro di Lombardia are being ridden, you know that the end of the season is near. Despite not scoring any additional wins, TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA showed some strong performances and got some top10 results as a consequence.
The team time trial served as the opening of the road world championships held in Hamilton, United States, and TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA finished this race in 15th. A few days later Nelson Oliveira fared better in the individual time trial: Competing against a strong field the Vuelta a España stage winner scored a 13th place. As the final race of the championships the elite road race was ridden at a fast pace, whittling down the group of medal contenders. Rui Costa showed a strong performance. 2013’s world champion finished the race in 9th, scoring a top10 result. Nelson Oliveira crossed the finish line in the same group in 16th.
At the beginning of October a new stage race was held in the Middle East with the Abu Dhabi Tour. Apart from three flat stages for the sprinters, one of those held under floodlights on Abu Dhabi’s formula 1 circuit, the race also featured a mountain top finish. The brutal heat was another factor that brought the riders to their limits, forcing the organizers to shorten the first stage. Neither Sacha Modolo nor Davide Cimolai managed to score a top result for TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, however: An 11th place for Cimolai at the end of the 2nd stage was the best result. Diego Ulissi on the other hand showed a strong performance at the mountain top finish of Jebel Hafeet. On his way to the 4th place in the stage he managed to drop riders such as Vincenzo Nibali, and in the overall standings this moved him up to 5th position.
The end of September and beginning of October is also a time when a whole series of one-day races are being held in Italy, with the Giro di Lombardia being the most prestigious. In this classic race Jan Poland was flying TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA’s flag as a member of the day’s escape group until the 50 kilometers-to-go sign. But when the pace went up in the race’s finale no other team could challenge Team Astana’s supremacy. Another race where the riders in blue, fuchsia and MERIDA green did not succeed in playing a prominent role was Milano-Tirano, a race that had been won by Diego Ulissi two years ago. And at Tre Valli Varesine Jan Polanc was the team’s best-placed rider in 13th.
Things worked a lot better at Gran Piemonte where Sacha Modolo sprinted to a 6th place, just four seconds behind solo winner Jan Bakelants. This kicked off a series of top10 results for TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA: Valerio Conti was launched by his team mates Matteo Bono and Roberto Ferrari with 300 meters to go at the Coppa Sabatini. But this attack did not stick and Conti was reeled in, crossing the finish line in 10th. At the Giro d’Emilia it was Jan Polanc’s turn to shine again, and the young Slovene made good use of his late-season form to ride to a 6th place on the demanding final climb of the race. To cap off the series of Italian fall races, Roberto Ferrari managed to score a podium finish at the GP Bruno Beghelli, sprinting to a 3rd place.
The season is not finished for TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, however: Five of its riders have travelled to the land of the rising sun to compete at the Japan Cup one-day race. Diego Ulissi will be starting as the team’s captain, and Jan Polanc is another rider in contention of a strong result on the selective course in Japan. They will be assisted by Manuele Mori, Chung-Kai Feng and stagiaire Edward Ravasi. And since TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA has just announced the signing of Japanese rider Yukia Arashiro, the team is sure to attract wide interest.