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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Saturday, December 6, 2014

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Lampre-Merida News for 2015

I received three press releases from the Lampre-Merida pro team in the past couple of days.

Here's the first: In 2015 Lampre-Merida will count on one of its best climbers: Josè Rodolfo Serpa Perez (photo Bettini). The Colombian rider signed the prolongation of the contract for one season with the blue-fuchsia-team, so in 2015 he'll spend his third year wearing Lampre-Merida jersey.

The "Lion from Bucaramanga", born in 1979 in Corazal, has spent 9 seasons in pro cycling, obtaining 35 victories. In the past season, Serpa achieved one of the most important success in his career, the Trofeo Laigueglia.

"The confirmation of Serpa in the roster for 2015 will contribute to keep a very high level of quality in our climbers group. Josè is a key rider for his experience, his cycling skills and his reliability: he has been always more than competitive in all the top races he took part in - team manager Brent Copeland explained - His role of support to the captains will be very precious, so as it will be his skills in trying to achieve personal goals, as it happened in Trofeo Laigueglia 2014. Moreover, Josè is a very good guy and he's appreciated by all the team members."

Jose Serpa

José Serpa at the Trofeo Laigueglia.

And this release about Lampre's signing of Mario Jorge Faria da Costa, brother of 2013 world road champion Rui Alberto Faria da Costa:

In addition to Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa, next season the team's sport director will rely on Mario Jorge Faria Da Costa (photo), who's the brother of the former world champion.

Mario Costa was born in Povoa de Varzim (Portugal) on 15 November, 1985 and he turned pro in 2008, demonstrating during his career good skills on flat courses and in time trials, giving his best in the support of the team's captains.

Despite the fact that he always worked for team mates, in 2011 he obtained second place in the Portuguese road championship.

"It's such a pride and statisfaction for me to wear in 2015 the colors of Lampre-Merida," Mario Costa commented. "I will do my best to honor this opportunity, I'll work hard daily to meet the target that the team will propose to me. I thank the team, the sponsors and the team manager Copeland for this opportunity: it will be exciting to fight in support of my brother Rui in his attempts to achieve top results."

Mario Costa

Mario Costa

The cycling world is getting smaller, and this proves it:

The operation that gave to Xu Gang the opportunity to race the 2014 season for Lampre-Merida was more than a simple investment in the Asian cycling movement.

The rider from Shanghai, 5 times national champion, demonstrated on the road his cycling qualities: he was always ready to fulfill the expectations of the team's sport directors and he always achieved the targets.

Xu Gang showed that he's a very reliable team member, receiving aprpeciation from all of his team mates and by the sport directors.

In 2014 the Chinese athlete raced 41 days, 18 in World Tour competitions. His debut in the top category of the world cycling was the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, then he took part in Tour de Romandie (helping Rui Costa in obtain a place on the final podium), Vattenfall Cyclassics Hamburg and the Tour of Beijing.

Lampre-Merida did not hesitate to confirm Xu Gang for the 2015 team, as team manager Brent Copeland explained: "We were aware that Xu Gang could have faced some difficulties in approaching the World Tour category, but he had no problems in familiarizing himself with the new team and realizing very good performances in demanding races such as Vuelta al Pais Vasco and Tour de Romandie. We received good feedback about Xu from all the other riders of the team and by the sport director, so we extended his contract.

Considering the improvements he made during the 2014 season, we're sure that he will inprove in 2015 as well, so we'll be able to give him the opportunity to debut in a three-week tour."

Xu Gang is very happy: "The 2014 season was fantastic for me, the decision of the team of confirm my presence in the roster for 2015 makes me very proud. Everybody in the team, all the riders and all the members of the staff helped me a lot, so I only had to focus my attention on the races and training: everybody in the team has a lot of talent and everything is perfect. I can't wait for the 2015 season to start."

Xu Gang

Xu Gang - photo Bettini

Tire pressure and tire width, how it matters

I thought this essay by Lennard Zinn in VeloNews on tire pressure and width well worth reading.

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories