Lampre Merida secures WorldTour licence, repeats assertion it has nothing to fear from Mantova investigation
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lampre Merida secures WorldTour licence, repeats assertion it has nothing to fear from Mantova investigation

by VeloNation Press at 8:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Two year licence for Italian team

Filippo PozzatoAcknowledging the ongoing Mantova investigation in which the team has been implicated, the Lampre Merida squad has both restated its declaration of innocence in the affair and also thanked the UCI for the two year WorldTour licence that it was awarded Tuesday.

The team was one of eight which had their applications for a licence confirmed in the latest news on the topic. Together with the previously-accepted squads, it means that all eighteen applicants have been given a green light to be part of the top echelon in 2014.

In a statement hailing the news, the Italian setup said that it was “aware of the technicalities and procedures pending before the prosecutor of Mantova, and the realisation of the time needed to clarify the case.” It added that insisted there is “no involvement of the team in this case, [while] at the same time confirming full trust in the institutions.” [presumably the investigating bodies – ed.]

As for the awarding of a two year place in the top division, it said that it wanted to “express total satisfaction for the renewal of the World Tour licence,” and noted that it had held such a position since the World Tour – or, rather, the Pro Tour, as it was called then – made its debut in 2005.

The team will include riders such as world road race champion Rui Costa, who moved across from Movistar. Those remaining on board include Classic specialist Flippo Pozzato and former Giro d’Italia and Il Lombardia winner Damiano Cunego.

The team stated today that the two year licence would enable it to work towards the revised WorldTour project, which is being developed by the UCI, and also to introduce a youth team and Continental squad at some point in the future. It stated lowering the average age of the WorldTour team to 26 years of age as a target, and also renewing its investments in the Youth Cycling Project it said it has contributed to in the past two seasons.

It said that this encompasses forty teams and over 1,450 athletes, with this number expected to rise to over two thousand in 2014.

“On the conclusion of this communication, the confirmation of the license satisfies the team to a huge extent as well as the signing of Rui Alberto Faria da Costa, the reigning world champion. The members of Team Lampre Merida look forward to a 2014 season with complete motivation.”

Also see: Europcar confirmed in 2014 WorldTour as UCI announces final teams


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