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According to Ciclismo Internacional, the Argentinean sprinter will ride much more prestigious races in his second season at Lampre-Merida and will make his debut in the Tour de France before returning to the Vuelta a Espana

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11.12.2013 @ 18:17 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In 2013 Ariel Maximiliano Richeze returned to the top level after several years riding for smaller teams and after a slow start, his great performances at the Vuelta a Espana proved that he is a very capable sprinter. Those results have earned him the right to ride much bigger races in the 2014 when he will make his debut in the Tour de France and return to the Vuelta a Espana.

 

A few years ago, Ariel Maximiliano Richeze was seen as a promising sprinter who took several top results in the Giro d'Italia but his career was temporarily put on hold when he tested positive for stanozolol at the 2008 Circuit Cycliste Sarthe. Having served a two-year suspension, he returned to competition in 2011 but had taken a step down to the continental level.

 

Prior to this season, several strong results earned him a contract with Lampre-Merida where he was set to be the third main sprinter on the team alongside Alessandro Petacchi and Roberto Ferrari. He had a difficult start to the season where he mostly rode smaller races but when Petacchi announced his retirement, he got the chance in the biggest events and he grabbed the chance with both hands.

 

His first major results came in the Eneco Tour in August when he finished 2nd and 4th on two flat stages and he was selected as the team's sprinter for the Vuelta. He confirmed his potential by finishing in the top 3 no less than 4 times and in the top 5 an additional time and so was the most consistent sprinter of the Spanish grand tour.

 

Those results have proved to the Lampre-Merida management that they can rely on their Argentinean in the sprints in the biggest races. At the Lampre-Merida training camp, his race schedule has been created and his many results have been rewarded with a berth in some of the most prestigious races.

 

According to Ciclismo Internacional, Richeze will kick off his season in the colours of his national team at the small Giro del Sol in his home country but his first start in Lampre-Merida colours will come in the middle of January in the Tour de San Luis, also in his native Argentina.

 

He will start his European campaign at the Challenge Mallorca and ride the Volta ao Algave and the Paris-Nice as he prepares for a block of classics racing in Northern Europe. The Dwars door Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem, 3 Days of De Panne, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix will offer him a chance to ride over the infamous cobbles in races where he will both get his own chances and ride in support of Filippo Pozzato.

 

A short break will precede his final build-up races for the Tour de France which will be the Tour of California and the Tour de Suisse. In July, he will finally make his debut in the world's biggest race where he will get the chance to battle against the likes of Marcel Kittel, Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel while also riding in support of world champion Rui Costa's overall ambitions.

 

The second part of the season will see him return to a happy hunting ground as he will ride the Eneco Tour in preparation of his second participation in the Vuelta a Espana.

 

Richeze is not the only sprinter in the Lampre team as Ferrari will again ride in blue-fuchsia colours in 2014 while the team has also signed Sacha Modolo. However, Richeze's race schedule suggests that the Argentinean has managed to position himself towards the top of the sprinting hierarchy in his Italian team.

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