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Horner will be backed by a strong team and can count on support from climbers Niemiec, Cunego, Serpa and Anacona in the mountains

Photo: Sirotti

CHRISTOPHER HORNER

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DAMIANO CUNEGO

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ELIA FAVILLI

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FILIPPO POZZATO

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JOSE RODOLFO SERPA PEREZ

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MAXIMILIANO RICHEZE

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PRZEMYSLAW NIEMIEC

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ROBERTO FERRARI

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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WINNER ANACONA

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19.08.2014 @ 19:20 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

One year after his surprise victory, Chris Horner will return to the Vuelta a Espana to defend his title and he will be backed by a strong team. Przemyslaw Niemiec, Winner Anacona, Damiano Cunego and Jose Serpa will form a strong block of climbers while Filippo Pozzato will take care of the American in the flat stages.

 

In 2013 Chris Horner became a surprise winner of the Vuelta a Espana and all year he has made it clear that his big goal is to defend his title. On Saturday he will roll down the ramp in Jerez de la Frontera for the team time trial and he will be backed by a strong team.

 

Like last year Horner has had a difficult preparation as a training crash in April left him with severe injuries. He managed to recover in time for the Tour de France but a bout of bronchitis made him unable to perform at his highest level.

 

Horner recently finished second in the Tour of Utah - just as he did one year ago - and has claimed to be in better condition than he was 12 months ago. Having recovered from his illness, he will line up in Spain with one goal: the overall win.

 

His key support rider will be Przemyslaw Niemiec who finished 6th in last year's Giro and recently finished 5th in the Tour de Pologne. The Pole is capable of going for GC himself but will ride the race in support of his captain.

 

Damiano Cunego will be another important support rider while also preparing for the World Championships. The final block of climbers is made up of Colombians Jose Serpa and Winner Anacona who have both showed great condition, the latter recently finishing third behind Horner in Utah.

 

For the flat stages, Horner can count on Filippo Pozzato's experience. The Italian hopes to get selected for the Worlds and showed growing form in the recent Eneco Tour. The same can be said for Elia Favilli who will be another key rider in the flat and hilly stages.

 

Despite the focus on the GC, there is also room for a pair of sprinters. Roberto Ferrari and Maximiliano Richeze complete the roster and will target success in the sprint stages.

 

Lampre-Merida for the Vuelta:

Chris Horner, Winner Anacona, Jose Serpa, Damiano Cunego, Przemyslaw Niemiex, Elia Favilii, Filippo Pozzato, Roberto Ferrari, Maximiliano Richeze

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