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Horner and Costa will target the GC while Modolo will focus on the sprints; there was no room for Pozzato on the roster

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CHRISTOPHER HORNER

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DAVIDE CIMOLAI

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JOSE RODOLFO SERPA PEREZ

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KRISTIJAN DURASEK

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MAXIMILIANO RICHEZE

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RAFAEL VALLS

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RUI ALBERTO FARIA DA COSTA

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SACHA MODOLO

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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30.06.2014 @ 14:36 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lampre-Merida has finalized its selection for the Tour de France and will go to the race with a dual focus. Rui Costa and Chris Horner will target the overall standings while Sacha Modolo will have two riders to support him in the sprint finishes. There was no room for Filippo Pozzato.

 

Having previously announced an 11-rider long list for the Tour de France, Lampre-Merida has made up its mind and announced the final 9-rider selection. As expected, the team will be led by Rui Costa and Sacha Modolo while Chris Horner has earned a third leadership role after his rapid comeback from injury.

 

Last year Costa had to sacrifice his own chances at the Tour to work for Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana and part of the reason for his decision to leave Movistar was his ambition to see how far he can get in La Grande Boucle. All year the Tour de France has been his major goal and he is set to lead Lampre-Merida in the race after having recently created history by winning the Tour de Suisse for a third consecutive year.

 

However, Costa won't be the only GC card for Lampre-Merida that can also count on Vuelta champion Chris Horner. The 42-year-old was set to ride the Giro d'Italia but a horrific crash put and end to those hopes.

 

Horner has made a rapid recovery from his injuries and recently returned to competition in the Tour de Slovenie where he showed solid condition by finishing 14th overall. That was enough to convince the management to include him on the Tour roster and even though his main goal remains the Vuelta, his team has made it clear that they want him to target the GC.

 

The team is clearly devoted to Costa and Horner as most of the squad is made up of climbers. Rafael Valls rode exceptionally well in the Tour de Suisse while Kristijan Durasek earned a spot by climbing well in the Dauphiné. The final support rider in the mountains is veteran Jose Serpa.

 

Costa's friend Nelson Oliveira will take care of his compatriot in the flat stages after having shown exceptional condition in this weekend's national championships. He beat Costa in the time trial and yesterday he made the double by also claiming the road race title.

 

A second part of the team will be devoted to the sprints. Sacha Modolo will make his Tour de France debut and showed his good condition in the Tour de Suisse where he won a stage and climbed really well. He will be supported by his usual lead-out man Maximilano Richeze who will also make his debut, and Davide Cimolai.

 

There was no room for Filippo Pozzato who was expected to take care of Costa in the cobbled stage. However, the Italian has shown no signs of form and last week his team made it clear that he needed to show something in the national championships to earn his spot. He failed to do so and will now have to focus on the autumn season as will Matteo Bono who was the final rider on the long list.

 

Lampre-Merida:

Rui Costa, Chris Horner, Sacha Modolo, Maximilano Richeze, Davide Cimolai, Rafael Valls, Kristijan Durasek, Jose Serpa and Nelson Oliveira

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