Tasks, restructuring and internationality. These are the three main guidelines that Team LAMPRE-MERIDA considers to be crucial in order to find the correct balance between professionalism and organization in today's cycling world; looking ahead, these are the ideas that will be decisive for the blue-fuchsia-green team to work towards the future.
This is the reason for the team's decision to nominate Brent Copeland as team manager into the organization, replacing Giuseppe Saronni in this role. Despite his young age (41 years old) Copeland has vast experience on an international level in the sporting world.
Copeland’s cycling career began in South Africa, coming to Europe for the first time in 1994, racing in the élite category with Velo Club Lugano, racing with team mates such as future world champion Oscar Camenzind and Rubens Bertogliati, who as we know gave Lampre (at the time with the name of Lampre-Daikin) the yellow jersey in Tour de France 2002.
When Brent stopped racing he turned his interests to working in the cycling world with Lampre in 1999 as sport director, directing world champions Camenzind, Igor Astarloa and Alessandro Ballan. Meanwhile, he was also nominated South African National team manager in three editions of the world championships.
Copeland’s relationship with team Lampre carried on until 2009 when Brent then moved to motorbikes. In 2010, he joined the MotoGp world as coordinator of the activities of American Ben Spies, travelling with the rider and MotoGP for three seasons gaining vast experience in this top level sport of the motorbike world with which Copeland is still in touch and in which he has gained various management skills.
In 2013 he made his return to cycling: Copeland was called upon for organizing and the launch of the first African team to obtain Professional team status, MTN-Qhubeka, which saw them go on to win the memorable Milano-Sanremo thanks to Gerald Ciolek.
Copeland’s career, together with his knowledge and skills and the appreciation he received on an international level convinced Team LAMPRE-MERIDA to put this trust in him and offer him the role as team manager: he will be responsible for the management and organization of the team, both staff and riders working in close contact with the sport directors, the medical staff and responsible for the training, logistics and race program.
The undertaking of these tasks by the South African manager, during the season in which Team LAMPRE-MERIDA will have in its roster the world champion once again (the Portuguese Rui Alberto Faria da Costa), will give Giuseppe Saronni the chance to concentrate and focus more on the research and management of financial backers, sponsors and partners for the team.
The nomination of Brent Copeland is consistent with restructuring the team is taking, in the past 12 months Michele Bartoli (responsible for training and race program ) and Angelo Zomegnan (senior advisor) have been added to the team.
New ideas, various skills and knowledge that enrich the team's history and offer a new progression for the future. Copeland explains: “The request of taking on the role of team manager makes me proud: Lampre has always been my Italian family, they welcomed me fifteen years ago, there has always been a special bond with the blue-fuchsia colors. The choice to accept this responsibility has been easy, even if it was not based only on sentimental reasons. In fact, I appreciate been involved in these changes of internationalization and the evolution of the team, an evolution which we working towards finding the perfect balance of professionalism and organization in this modern world of cycling in which we find ourselves. I’m ready and determined to support this challenge of transition and I know I can rely on a group of excellent people that are professional in each one of the indicated areas. This is a team effort which I am looking forward to working in, we starting from a good level of experience, which we want to broaden into a wider international dimension, this is a fundamental resource for our future”.
Tomorrow, Copeland is going to take part in a meeting with Michele Bartoli and the technical staff in order to begin, with the team leaders, to plan the schedule of next year's season.
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