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"Unfortunately, it is not reflected in results that would have boosted our morale. The legs are quite good and the attitude to this type of racing improves but we are still missing a further step in order to be part of the race,"...

Photo: OPQS / Tim de Waele

CLASSIC BRUGGE-DE PANNE

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DAVIDE CIMOLAI

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ELIA FAVILLI

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SACHA MODOLO

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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01.04.2014 @ 19:17 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lampre-Merida have had a slow start to the cobbled campaign but today the Italian team showed signs of progress when they played an active rolw in today's hard opening stage of the Driedaagse van de Panne. In the end they failed to put a rider in the 11-rider group that sprinted for the win but the team has boosted its confidence ahead of the upcoming sprint stages.

 

Lampre-Merida have never been known as one of the powerhouses for the cobbled classics but with Filippo Pozzato on the roster, the Italians have a rider who has finished on the podium in both Flanders and Roubaix in their ranks. With Pozzato delivering below-par performances, however, the team hasn't made much of an impact on the opening cobbled races.

 

In Sunday's Gent-Wevelgem the team had got close to a big result when Sacha Modolo got a great lead-out from teammate Davide Cimolai but having run out of legs, he faded back to 25th. Today the team showed signs of progress when they played an active role in the first stage of the Driedaagse van de Panne.

 

When Peter Sagan attacked hard on the Eikenmolen with his teammate Oscar Gatto, Niki Terpstra and Gert Steegmans were not far behind. Just a few metres further back, however, Modolo was with Luca Paolini as the duo tried to join the Cannondale duo.

 

The attempt was ultimately unsuccessful but the team refused to give up. Davide Cimolai and Elia Favilli both made attacks on the final climb, with no success. Instead, the team was left to sprint for the minor positions, with Cimolai showing great speed by finishing third in the peloton's sprint behind Marcel Kittel and Alexander Kristoff.

 

"The commitment of the entire team has been great," sports director Orlando Maini said. "Unfortunately, it is not reflected in results that would have boosted our morale. The legs are quite good and the attitude to this type of racing improves but we are still missing a further step in order to be part of the race. If we continue this commitment, however, we are certainly on the right path."

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