Lampre-ISD looking to build on strong 2011 season
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Monday, January 02, 2012

Lampre-ISD looking to build on strong 2011 season

by Ben Atkins at 1:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
Italian team flying to Australia this week; Alessandro Petacchi looking to be competitive in Tour Down Under

alessandro petacchiLampre-ISD is about to enter its eighth season in its current form, since the old Lampre team merged with Saeco in 2005, and the blue-fuchsia team is looking to build further on a successful 2011. The season saw Michele Scarponi take his first ever podium spot at the Giro d’Italia, Damiano Cunego take a best-ever seventh place at the Tour de France, as well as the emergence of a number of young riders, including Diego Ulissi and Adriano Malori; it also saw Alessandro Petacchi as one of the few sprinters to outpace Mark Cavendish.

Unsurprisingly, the team’s general manager Giuseppe Saronni is hoping for more – and better – in the coming year.

“We enter 2012 with the conviction of trying to be protagonists during the whole season and to give our supporters some exciting sporting moments,” he said. “Lampre-ISD is going through a course of a long-term improvement and renewal, a path that has already started and that will find real confirmations in 2012, and that will be consolidated in 2013 thanks to the important integration of young but already very competitive cyclists. In regard of this evolution, 2012 will be important in order to identify the members of the staff and of the roster that will be able to contribute to the improvement of the team.”

The European season may still be a number of months away, but with things getting under way in the southern hemisphere, the team is already preparing to be competitive.

“There is no time to dwell in speeches and forecasts, it’s also important to focus our attention on races,” said Saronni. “On January 4th our team will leave from Milano Malpensa to Australia in order to take part in the Down Under Classic [on January 15th – ed] and the Tour Down Under [between January 17th and 23rd – ed]. This year we aim to begin the season at a high level, that’s why the captain of the Australian expedition will be Petacchi (pictured), with the support of top riders. Alessandro has performed a training programme that should allow him to be competitive in Australia”.

Aside from a three-year gap between 1996 and 1998, Lampre has been involved in sponsoring this team – and its previous incarnations – since 1991; although ISD is a relative newcomer, Saronni knows the value of loyal and long-term supporters in a sport that relies almost entirely on sponsorship money.

“We’re lucky be able to count on two main sponsors such Lampre and ISD in 2012,” he said. “The relationship with the Galbusera family, owners of the Lampre company, is a happy and lasting partnership that encourages us to be at our best. Other spurs come from ISD, a giant company that trusted in our project; that’s a wonderful evaluation for our team.

“Considering those things, our decisions over our season’s program were thought of with the aim of trying to hit the main targets in the top races,” he continued. “Our main sponsors, in addition to our partners and suppliers, give us the freedom to plan the season in order to allow our captains – Petacchi, [Damiano] Cunego, [Michele] Scarponi, and the youngsters [Diego] Ulissi and [Adriano] Malori to compete in the races that suit them best

“Our commitment is to be at our best,” he concluded.

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