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“Kristjian has had the same kind of start of the season as usual. He doesn’t like the cold so we didn’t put any pressure on him for delivering results early on but we trust in him to start riding at his best again in...

Photo: A.S.O.








23.04.2016 @ 11:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lampre-Merida will be the team to watch at the 52nd Presidential Tour of Turkey (April 24-May 1st) from Istanbul to Selçuk, this year taking in Capadoccia for the first time in the modern history of a race first held in 1963.


Defending champion Kristjian Durasek returnsto action after showing his attacking spirit during the World Tour race Volta Catalunya last month. After winning the TUR a year ago, he became a key player at Lampre-Merida, riding Tour de Suisse, Tour de France and Vuelta a España in quick succession. In Switzerland he took a stage win at Risch-Rotkreuz.



“He’s following the right path to hit good form at the Tour of Turkey, a very important event for our sponsors and for us as a team”, explained head sports director Philippe Mauduit. “Kristjian has had the same kind of start of the season as usual. He doesn’t like the cold so we didn’t put any pressure on him for delivering results early on but we trust in him to start riding at his best again in the near future. He’ll be our GC rider while Sacha Modolo will hunt for stage wins.”


Modolo, a double Giro d’Italia stage winner last year, achieved several top-fives in the Middle Eastern races (Dubai, Qatar) in February but is yet to take his first win of 2016. The Italian has participated to the past six editions of the Presidential Tour of Turkey, winning stage 6 in Kusadasi in 2012 and stage 5 in Pamukkale last year.


Having only one victory this year through Davide Cimolai at the Volta Catalunya, the blue-fuchsia team has big hopes in Turkey. Their drought so far was mainly due to crashes as they have reported five broken bones in the injuries that have halted Matej Mohoric, Yukiya Arashiro, Mattia Cattaneo, Manuele Mori and Louis Meintjes. “With a 24-man roster, we have been left with few resources for a consistent World Tour program”, Mauduit noted. “For some of our riders, it’s been difficult to recover from their efforts because we have needed them back racing.”


After a demanding Belgian campaign, China’s Xu Gang and Taiwan’s Feng Chun Kai are looking forward to racing again under the sun beside the Mediterranean. The TUR will benefit from the exposure to the millions of followers they have in Asia but their task will consist in helping Lampre-Merida emerge victorious, as they did a year ago.

The provisional Lampre-Merida team for the 2016 Presidential Tour of Turkey: Kristjian Durasek (Cro), Feng Chun Kai (Tpe), Roberto Ferrari (Ita), Ilia Koshevoy (Blr), Sacha Modolo (Ita), Przemyslaw Niemec (Pol), Simone Petilli (Ita), Xu Gang (Chn).



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