Damiani leaves Omega Pharma-Lotto, bound for Lampre?
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Damiani leaves Omega Pharma-Lotto, bound for Lampre?

by Shane Stokes at 6:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Italian expected to take over from Saronni in fresh start for team

Roberto DamianiFollowing recent speculation that Roberto Damiani was set to take over the running of the Lampre ISD team, the Italian is leaving his current setup several months ahead of contract.

The Omega Pharma - Lotto team confirmed his departure this morning, saying that as a result of a ‘common agreement,’ that the agreement running until December 31 of this year was ending early.

“Roberto was sports director for more than four years, achieving several successes with the team, such as the last Giro della Lombardia and Strade Bianche with Philippe Gilbert,” said Omega Pharma Lotto General Manager Geert Coeman in a team statement. “He has decided to start another activity in his own country.”

Damiani has recently been linked with a possible move to Lampre ISD, where he would reportedly take over from Giuseppe Saronni. The latter has been implicated in the Mantova doping investigation, along with other team staff plus thirteen of the team’s current and former riders.

Earlier this month La Gazzetta dello Sport said that Saronni had met with sponsors and agreed to stand aside in order to help the team have a new start. It is thought that the team structure would change in other ways, with the development of young riders such as Adriano Malori and Diego Ulissi becoming the new focus of the squad.

Italian media has named a Baker’s dozen of implicated riders who are either currently with Lampre, or who were part of the team in the past. The list of those under investigation comprises the 2008 world champion Alessandro Ballan, Marco Bandiera, Emanuele Bindi, Marzio Bruseghin, Damiano Cunego, Mauro Da Dalto, Francesco Gavazzi, Mirko Lorenzetto, Manuele Mori, Simone Ponzi, Mauro Santambrogio, Francesco Tomei and Daniele Pietropolli. Ballan has since moved to the BMC Racing Team, as has Mauro Santambrogio.

Team staff who were implicated include Saronni, plus directeurs sportifs Fabrizio Bontempi and Maurizio Piovani, as well as the soigneur Fabio Della Torre.

It remains to be seen if the team’s lineup for the Giro d’Italia will include any of the implicated riders.


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