Damiano Cunego “very happy” after Lampre-Merida’s surprise team time trial eighth
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Damiano Cunego “very happy” after Lampre-Merida’s surprise team time trial eighth

by Ben Atkins at 6:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Former Giro d’Italia champion credits “good team spirit” and technical sponsors

damiano cunegoOne of the big surprise performances in today’s Tour de France team time trial came from Lampre-Merida, with the team putting in what it described as “one of the best performances ever” to finish in eighth place. The Italian blue-fuchsia-green team completed the 25km Nice course in a time of 26 minutes, 21 seconds, losing just 25 seconds to winner Orica-GreenEdge, and beating several of the more fancied teams.

The result puts team leader Damiano Cunego, who still harbours ambitions of a high overall finish in the Tour de France, in 25th place - with Przemyslaw Niemiec in 26th, and jose Serpa in 27th - and well positioned against the rest of the contenders.

"I'm very happy for today’s terrific performance,” said Cunego after the stage. We all were great. It was not so simple for us to keep a high speed on the flat course, but we did it in a perfect way, thanks to a very good team spirit.”

As well as his teammates, the Piccolo Principe credited many of the products of the team’s technical sponsors, many of which are being used for the first time this year.

“In addition, Merida bikes demonstrate once again to be amazing in their performance” Cunego said. “It's also important to point out the care of the team about the details; as an example, today we were able to use the jersey that Champion System provided us during our warm up, they were chilled by a machine and they helped us to not suffer the heat.”

Whether or not Cunego is to match or better his best ever Tour de France finish of sixth, which he achieved last year, will be seen when the race hits the mountains later in the week. What is clear, however, is that the 31-year-old Italian is better placed than even he could have imagined, going into those stages, after his team’s performance today.


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