Copeland switches from MTN Qhubeka to Lampre Merida, will take over as general manager
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Copeland switches from MTN Qhubeka to Lampre Merida, will take over as general manager

by VeloNation Press at 11:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
South African previously worked with the team between 1999 and 2009, pleased to return

Brent CopelandThe Lampre Merida team has made a big change to its management, signing up the South African Brent Copeland as its new team manager.

The 41 year old previously worked as a directeur sportif with the team, coming on board in 1999 and working with riders such as world champions Oscar Camenzind, Igor Astarloa and Alessandro Ballan. He also acted as South African team manager in three world championships.

He remained part of the Lampre setup until 2009, then switched his attention to the world of motorbikes. In 2010 he began working with the American Ben Spies, remaining in that role until 2012. Desiring to return to cycling, he took up a management role with the African MTN Qhubeka squad, helping it put together the lineup which clocked up several big wins this year, including Gerald Ciolek’s Milan Sanremo. He left that role in April of this year.

He is now moving back to Lampre Merida and will work alongside the team’s trainer and race coordinator Michele Bartoli plus the senior advisor Angelo Zomegnan, who previously directed the Giro d’Italia.

According to the team, he will manage and organise the setup. It states that his appointment will “give Giuseppe Saronni the chance to concentrate and focus more on the research and management of financial backers, sponsors and partners for the team.”

Copeland said that becoming team manager of the WorldTour squad made him proud. “Lampre has always been my Italian family, they welcomed me fifteen years ago. There has always been a special bond with the blue-fuchsia colours,” he said.

“The choice to accept this responsibility has been easy, even if it was not based only on sentimental reasons. In fact, I appreciate been involved in these changes of internationalization and the evolution of the team, an evolution which we working towards finding the perfect balance of professionalism and organisation in this modern world of cycling in which we find ourselves.”

One of the riders he will direct next year is the new world champion Rui Costa, who is moving across to the squad after a successful period with the Movistar team. In addition to his world title, he also won two stages in the Tour de France plus the overall classification in the Tour de Suisse.

Copeland described himself as ready to support the ‘challenge of transition’ and said that he believes he can rely on the others he will collaborate with.

“This is a team effort which I am looking forward to working in,” he stated. “We are starting from a good level of experience, which we want to broaden into a wider international dimension. This is a fundamental resource for our future.”

He will meet Bartoli and the team’s technical staff tomorrow to start planning for the season ahead.

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