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“It will not be easy, but it must be said that, paradoxically, we got less than expected from our leaders, people like Ulissi, Rui Costa and Modolo. So if the group can continue and they can return to their level…"

Photo: Tour of Turkey/Brian Hodes

DIEGO ULISSI

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RUI ALBERTO FARIA DA COSTA

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SACHA MODOLO

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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08.12.2015 @ 19:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

2015 was a successful year for Lampre-Merida but general manager Giuseppe Saronni does not hide that there were disappointments too. He wants more from his three leaders: Rui Costa, Diego Ulissi and Sacha Modolo . 

 

Interviewed by La Gazzetta dello Sport, the world champion of 1982 is reasonably satisfied with his team which deserves "at least a 7, especially for adding quality to the number of wins which has always been solid.”

 

"But we must now confirm,” said Saronni. “It will not be easy, but it must be said that, paradoxically, we got less than expected from our leaders, people like Ulissi, Rui Costa and Modolo. So if the group can continue and they can return to their level…

 

“[Ulissi] should improve. It is true that he only started to race in April (due to the suspension for the controversial positive test for salbutamol at the 2014 Giro, ed.) but during his comeback he has brought along a certain fear, the fear of being in the fray. When you are too far behin in the peloton, you spend so much energy to move up and you en up losing.”

 

Turning to the former world champion Costa, Saronni noted with obvious disappointment that the change of preparation did not bring the desired results: “[Costa] wanted to try to go for the GC in the Tour de France and has modified the preparation, focusing more on his climbing but it did not go well. He has to go back to a focus on the one-day races and short stage races.”

 

And regarding Sacha Modolo : "He has the talent to win more. He got the first one in late April in Turkey, after 3 months and in the Giro he did well (with two stage wins, ed.). The years pass for everybody and he must be better prepared to be ready from the start and go on for longer. Why can a rider with his quality not reach double-digit numbers? I hope he is also stimulated by the fact that the Worlds in Qatar could be good for him.”

 

For 2016 Saronni is certain that Louis Meintjes will be the biggest surprise: "He is South African, is 23 years old and has very large room for growth, and yet he was already able to get a tenth place in the Vuelta. He will begin in Australia, at the Tour Down Under, and we'll take him to the Tour de France.”

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