The contingent of European riders competing in the 2013 Santos Tour Down Under has grown with confirmation of the Lampre-Merida team heading to South Australia in January.
Santos Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur said he looked forward to seeing the team in action.
“Lampre-Merida features a strong line-up of Italian cyclists such as Davide Cimolai, Roberto Ferrari and Elia Favilli, along with Australian climber Matthew Lloyd,” Mr Turtur said.
“I know cycling fans will be eager to see Matthew tackle ascents such as Corkscrew Hill, which is the new Škoda King of the Mountain climb on stage two.”
The gruelling Old Willunga Hill again features on the Santos Tour Down Under race route, along with tough climbs on Kersbrook Road and Checker Hill.
According to the blue and fushia team, Roberto Ferrari will be the key rider chasing the Jayco Sprint points with the support of Cimolai, Pietropolli, Favilli and Mori. Both Roberto Ferrari and Elia Favilli will make their team Lampre-Merida debut in Australia.
“I’m motivated to deliver a strong performance as this is my debut with Lampre-Merida and I am looking forward to competigin agsainst the world’s tops sprinters,” said Roberto Ferrari.
“I am also keen to add to my collection of victories. Since starting my career I have won in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and I now have my sights set on Oceania!”
Matthew Lloyd will be a firm favourite amongst the Australian fans.
“I’ve been performing well throughout my training program over the last weeks, so will be aiming to be competitive in the stages suited to me. It is important for me to start the new season well, even possibly with a result to give something back to the team and the many Australian fans that support me whilst on home soil,” says Matthew Lloyd.
The Lampre-Merida team for the 2013 Santos Tour Down Under will be led by Team Manager Giuseppe Saronni (ITA) and includes riders Davide Cimolai (ITA), Elia Favilli (ITA), Roberto Ferrari (ITA), Daniele Pietropolli (ITA), Simone Stortoni (ITA), Matthew Lloyd (AUS) and Manuele Mori (ITA).
More rider and team announcements will be issued over the coming weeks.
The Santos Tour Down Under will be held in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 20-27 January 2013.
Visit www.tourdownunder.com.au for more information.