Brand News

MERIDA extends commitment to pro road racing


MERIDA extends commitment to pro road racing

When MERIDA decided to join Team Lampre as a co-sponsor as per 2013, Taiwan's second largest bicycle manufacturer signed a contract for three years until the end of 2015. Now MERIDA has extended the contract early to run until 2016.

Ever since MERIDA decided to join the traditional Italian pro team, TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA has been on the way up. After a pretty mediocre 2012 season where the team only scored seven wins, the doors were wide open for some profound changes to the team's line-up. As a consequence, the team became distinctively younger and more international. Riders like Valerio Conti, Niccolo Bonifazio and Jan Polanc have been very successful in their respective age categories. Now these talents need to be guided to the elite ranks of pro cycling carefully. By signing Chinese rider Xu Gang for 2014, TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA has included a first rider from Asia in its line-up early on as well.

In 2013, the team already cranked up the number of wins to sixteen, but more importantly, TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA landed a spectacular coup on the transfer market. In late summer Portuguese rider Rui Costa had signed a contract with the team for the next season, before he won the World road champion in Florence. This investment has paid off this year: Rui Costa won his third consecutive Tour de Suisse and added a number of other high-profile results in overall standings of stage races to his tally, such as a second place at Paris-Nice, a third place at the Tour de Romandie and most recently a fourth place at the Tour of Beijing. At the end of the season, Rui Costa was ranked in fourth in the WorldTour standings. At the end of this season TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA has won 27 races, and as a sprinter who only joined the team this season Sacha Modolo has made quite a contribution to this tally.

MERIDA's vice president William Jeng is glad to announce the following: "We are very happy about the excellent cooperation with the team management including team owner Giuseppe Saronni, team manager Brent Copeland and the Galbusera family (the owners of construction material supplier Lampre). The feedback from the team and its riders has been of great value for MERIDA to further optimise our road bikes. Our company has entered the WorldTour with TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, and after two seasons we can only come to a thoroughly positive summary of this cooperation. The team has been improving its performance, and its line-up has been getting more and more international. We therefore are excited to announce that as per next year TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA will have two professional riders from Asia in its line-up: After China's Xu Gang, Chun Kai Feng is going to join its ranks for 2015. He will be the first rider from Taiwan to compete at cycling's highest level, the World Tour. All of this has convinced MERIDA to extend the existing title sponsor contract until the end of 2016 early on."