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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Friday, November 14, 2014

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Rafal Majka on 2014 Season

Tinkoff-Saxo sent this press release about their young rider:

Rafal Majka after successful season: “Still room for improvement”

Rafal Majka

Rafal Majka on his way to winning the 2014 Tour of Poland. Photo ©Sirotti

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Polish climber Rafal Majka has shown his promising talent for multiple seasons since he joined the team in 2011. But this season sparked his big breakthrough with two mountain stage wins and the polka dot jersey in Tour de France, the overall win in Tour de Pologne as well as several top results during the season. Before heading off to the team building camp on Kilimanjaro, Rafal acknowledged that 2014 took his career to the next level.

“I’m really satisfied with my season. In the previous years, I’ve done well, worked hard for the team and gotten some good personal results. But now I’ve started winning, which was the one thing missing in the past years. The team has supported me and I was able to step up”, says Rafal Majka.

After a demanding race program starting with Volta ao Algarve in February, Rafal Majka concluded his season in late august. Since then the 25-year old has stayed away from the spotlight resting, recovering and training at home.

“Since USA Pro Challenge, I haven’t done any races. But I had a very hard schedule in the first half of the season with two Grand Tours. So for me to improve even more, I had to rest and recover. I’ve been training 2-3 hours a day to maintain my strength, and when the entire team gathers on Gran Canaria, I’ll start preparing for 2015”, explains Majka, who still believe there’s room for improvement:

“I still have to work on some key areas, if I want to become even stronger in the big stage races. During the winter, I will focus on my time trial. Both the team and I know that there’re still quite a lot of seconds to gain here. I’m really motivated and I share the same big ambitions as the team. We want to deliver results in the races of 2015 and perhaps I will also look into doing some of the classics in the future”.

Christophe Le Mével puts an end to his career

Without a team after the non-renewal of his contract with Cofidis, Christophe Le Mével has put an end to his professional bike racing career. His fourteen years as a pro were highlighted by a stage win at the Giro d'Italia in 2005 and a 10th place finish at the 2009 Tour de France.

His Career:

2002-2008: rode for Crédit Agricole, won stage 16 of the 2005 Giro and was second overall at the 2005 Paris-Corrèze

2009-2010: rode for Française des Jeux, 9th overall in 2009 Tour de France, GC winner 2010 Tour du Haut Var, also winning stage 2

2011-2012: rode for Garmin-Cervélo, 9th in 2011 La Flèche Wallone, 4th in 2012 Clásica San Sebastián

2013-2014: rode for Cofidis, 8th at 2013 Tour de Finistère, 6th at Grand Prix de la Ville de Lillers

Christophe Le Mevel

Christophe Le Mével trains on the 2013 Liège-Bastogne-Liège course. Photo ©Sirotti

Roberto Ferrari and Manuele Mori return to Lampre-Merida for
the 2015 season

Lampre-Merida sent this note upon re-signing Roberto Ferrari for the upcoming season:

Roberto Ferrari

Roberto Ferrari before the start of the 2014 Tour Down Under. Photo ©Sirotti

There's a sprinter who can fight against the strongest lead-out trains. There's a sprinter who doesn't hesitate to support his team mates. There's a sprinter whose name is Roberto Ferrari and who'll race on the Lampre-Merida teamin 2015.

The blue-fuchsia-green team has extended the deal with the 31-year old Italian cyclist, confirming in the roster another one athlete who contributed to the very good season of the Lampre-Merida, despite his not winning any races in 2014.

"I'm very happy to have the opportunity to race for the third season in the team: it's an outstanding group, whose riders, sponsors and staff members are on the top level.

The intention by the team of relying on my skills and of extending my contract makes me very proud, because it confirms that it knows the value of my skills and of my efforts.

I know I haven not yet won wearing blue-fuchsia-green colors, this will be a motivation to try to do even better for obtaining personal results, but also for giving my support to my team mates.

After eight years in the pro cycling, my experience is very high and I would like to exploit it to help my team mates and the other sprinters of the team".

Team manager Brent Copeland is satisfied for the reconfirm of Ferrari: "Roberto is a generous rider and his skills make him a precious cyclists, since he can exploit the support of his team mates, can fight against the opponents lead-out trains and can be an effective help for his team mates in the achieve of their goals.
His presence in the 2015 roster will give an extra value to our group of the sprinters".

The 2015 will be the third season with Lampre-Merida for Roberto Ferrari, who has 11 career wins.

And we also got this release from Lampre-Merida regarding their re-signing of Manuele Mori:

Manuele Mori

Manuele Mori in the 2013 Giro d'Emilia. Photo ©Sirotti

Team Lampre-Merida signed a prolongation of Manuele Mori's his contract: the experience of the Tuscan cyclist will be a value for the team in 2015 season too.

Mori will race in the team for the seventh season, so that he'll give once again his support to the captain and he'll be a model for the young riders.

A fact could help to understand better which is the level of experience of Manuele: during his pro career, that began in 2004, he took part in all the World Tour races, except for Paris-Roubaix and Gand-Wevelgem, obtaining at least once a final place in the top 25 in each race (except for the Grand Tours).

Moreover, though waiting for the opportunity to debut in an African race, Mori rode on all the continents.

"It's a big satisfaction for me to have the opportunity to race for the seventh season in the same team, it means to me that I worked in the best way - Mori explained - I thank the team management, the sponsors and the staff: the team is like a second family for me.

Season after season, my role changed and now I'm focused on supporting the team captains and in giving the necessary help to the young riders: Lampre-Merida is paying a huge attention to the young guns, it's something very remarkable."

Team manager Brent Copeland commented: "Manuele Mori is one of those riders that can be always helpful to the team and it's very important that he'll be with us in the next season too.

He'll be with the team captains in the one day races and in Grand Tours, giving also his help to the young riders and the new cyclists of the team."

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