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Niemiec to lead Lampre-Merida in 2014 Giro d'Italia
Przemysław Niemiec is preparing to lead team Lampre-Merida in 2014 Giro d'Italia. Polish rider is aiming at Italian Grand Tour and will follow a classic build-up before 97th edition of Corsa Rosa.
Niemiec finished 6th in 2013 Giro, riding as a super-domestique for Michele Scarponi. He also highlighted the year with some decent performances in stage races and along with Michał Kwiatkowski and Rafał Majka managed to put Poland in top10 of UCI nation ranking. This year he hopes to repeat the performance and declares that he is hungry for the result.
33-year-old Pole stays optimistic at the begining of his fourth season with Lampre-Merida and says he did not waste the winter period.
- The annual tests went really well and I'm optimistic about further preparations. I'm closly working with Michele Bartoli, who is supervising my training plans
Just like in 2013, Niemiec will start his season early, taking part in Challenge Mallorca. Before his main goal - Giro d'Italia - he should do approximately 27 racing days.
- After team presentation in Mallorca, I'll do Italian classics - Trofeo Laiguegila, GP di Camaiore and my favourite one-day race - Strade Bianche, followed by Roma Maxima. Then it's time for stage races - Tirreno-Adriatico and Volta a Catalunya, where I did well last year. After racing in Spain we have a mountain camp on our schedule. The last test before Giro will be Liege-Bastogne-Liege, my debut actually. We have riders like Rui Costa and Diego Ulissi on the team, so I will be helping them there.
Niemiec is hoping to repeat the results from last season and keep consistency from first five months of 2013. Preparing for the Giro last year he took 9th place in Tirreno-Adriatico, 7th in Volta a Catalunya and 6th in Giro del Trentino. Although on the slopes of snow-capped routes of Giro he had to help team leader - Michele Scarponi - he managed to secure 6th overall, riding the Grand Tour of his life and marking the best performance of Polish rider in the race since Zenon Jaskuła's 9th place in 1991.
- I'd like to ride on similar level as last year in the first part of the season. And if everything goes according to plan, perhaps achieve something in the second part, too
- Niemiec wrote, referring to lack of results in the second half of 2013 season. The Pole, who joined a World Tour team at the age of 29, took part in 100th Tour de France and 70th Tour de Pologne but failed to play any siginificant part.
- That was my first start in Grand Boucle. I wanted to ride, did that and... it's enough
- he said then, explaining that le Tour is not the race suitable for him.
Niemiec will probably ride Vuelta a Espana in the second part of the season and eye late season Italian classics. His schedule after the Giro remains unknown - he and his wife Beata await the birth of their second child.
photo credit: Ferrari - LaPresse