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"We will try to do well and we want to fet the best possible result. In particular we want to see how far our world champion Rui Costa can get as he will test himself in a three-week race against the best riders in the world," Cop...

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CHRISTOPHER HORNER

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DAVIDE CIMOLAI

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FILIPPO POZZATO

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JOSE RODOLFO SERPA PEREZ

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KRISTIJAN DURASEK

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MATTEO BONO

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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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19.06.2014 @ 23:07 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Lampre-Merida roster for the Tour de France is taking shape after manager Brent Copeland has announced an 11-rider long list from which the final 9-rider roster will be selected. Rui Costa is set to lead team that may also include Chris Horner as a second GC rider while Sacha Modolo will be there for the sprints.

 

This year Lampre-Merida is going into the Tour de France with great expectations. For the first time in some years, they have a GC rider that is expected to challenge for the top spots in the overall standings.

 

Last year Rui 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.

 

The team that will support him during the three weeks is taking chape after manager Brent Copeland has narrowed the list of potential riders down to just 11.

 

"There is no reason to hide the fact that the Tour is a great event," he told Tuttobiciweb. "It is the most important race in the world and this year Lampre-Merida line up with GC ambitions. We will try to do well and we want to fet the best possible result. In particular we want to see how far our world champion Rui Costa can get as he will test himself in a three-week race against the best riders in the world.

 

"We must bring the best possible team and everybody knows that they have to arrive at this race in top condition and with the right mentality. We will evaluate each of them on their physical condition and what they have done in the season so far. One thing is certain: no one has a guaranteed spot."

 

The team may include a second GC rider. Vuelta champion Chris Horner was set to focus on the Giro d'Italia but crashed hard in training and had to skip the Italian grand tour. He has been training well during the last few weeks and will test his condition in this week's Tour de Slovenia. His team has made it clear that they hope to bring him to the race with an eye on the overall standings.

 

"Now he goes to Slovenia to find the race rhythm after his serious accident," Copeland said.

 

In addition to Costa and Horner, the long list includes climbers José Serpa, Kristijan Durasek and Rafael Valls and Costa's compatriot Nelson Oliveira who usually has the task of protecting the world champion in the flat stages. Matteo Bono and Filippo Pozzato could play a similar role, making sure that Costa gets safely through the first week.

 

A second part of the roster will be built around sprinter Sacha Modolo who recently won a stage of the Tour de Suisse and is set to make his Tour debut. Lead-out men Maximilano Richeze and Davide Cimolai are both still in contention for a spot.

 

"He wants to compete with the best in the world," Copeland said. "At his his side, he could have experienced riders like Cimolai, Richeze and Oliveira who are able to guide him through the hectic finales."

 

"[For the breaks we could have] Cimolai, Bona and Pozzato. Pozzato is also the right man for the cobbles but he is not the only one as Horner, Cimolai, Modolo, Bono and Richeze also have good experiences on this surface. In short, these eleven have all the attributes to ensure that the team will deliver a good performance and as I said before, no one can feel assured that they already have a ticket to Leeds."

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