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Lampre-Merida: Exclusive Talk with the World Champion
Lampre Merida Team f_chiari In few days it will be Paris-Nice time and cycling fans will be able to admire the world champion in action.

Following a very good start of the season, Rui Costa (foto Bettini) is going to focus his attention in an even deeper way on the sport side, in order to try to honor in the best way the rainbow jersey.
With the aim to exploit highly every moment of rest during the race and, at the same time, to fulfill the requests by the reporters, with the support of Team LAMPRE-MERIDA Rui Costa wants to share his feelings and ideas by the mean of an interview that is going to be published in two parts on the team’s official website
Face to face interviews won’t be scheduled during the race, so please enjoy this interview.


1. Two months in the new season: which was the best moment?
I always think that the best moment will happen in the future… if we work hard and we have good health. When I think about the past, it is obvious that I achieved nice victories. But I never like to think that it is enough.
I always want to focus in the future and to think about new goals. And I have the same mentality about these first two months.
I had good moments… but I am sure that the future will be better.

2. Do you regret not having obtain a victory, even if you got 3 times the second place?
No, that’s not a problem. If you check my previous seasons, I didn’t win until April in 2013. And in 2012 it was worse because my first victory was in June.
It is truth that I normally start the seasons in good shape but my victories and my best shape are always in the summer. Anyhow, I want to win races as soon as possible, of course! And my feeling are really good. In Algarve, for example, I was 3 times second and against big riders as Kwiatkowski or Contador. It is bad to loose… but it is good to check that I am in good shape and more if we think that my goals are more in March and April than February.
Also, I cannot forget that we won in Algarve with Modolo and LAMPRE-MERIDA was the best team at the race. We are running as a team. That’s why, we work for our teammates and this second place, for example, was really sweet for me because we did a perfect job for Modolo and for LAMPRE-MERIDA team!

3. You joined a new team, the Italian group Team LAMPRE-MERIDA: how did you familiarize with the new group? Is there something you especially appreciated? What did impress you most of an Italian team?
LAMPRE-MERIDA is a familiar team and this is the most important thing for me. When I had to decide my future, in the summer of 2013, we signed for LAMPRE-MERIDA for some several things. One of them was the culture.
It is easy for me to learn Italian language and to speak with team directors, mechanics, masseurs, teammates… After two months, there are no problems for the adaptation and we can say that I am integrated inside the team. Everything is going well and all is working really good.

4. Who is the new team mate that impressed you most?
I can not choose just one. All my team mates are new and I’ve been surprised positively day by day for all of them.

5. Please, explain why you always say Merida bikes are so good
It is simple to answer: because it is the truth! Merida is a bike very comfortable and that has a very good stiffness. They are supporting me to check my position on the bike and to try to improve.
Small details are really important in professional cycling category and Merida is a perfect partner for now and for the future! We are going to grow together!

6. Tell something about the huge interest you received in Merida Press camp by the reporters and in Volta ao Algarve by the Portuguese fans
I was surprised. Merida Press camp was unbelievable. We can train with journalists, sponsors… It was a nice experience and it is important to offer our time to all the people.
If you think about cycling, one of our strong points is that we can offer a close relation with fans. And it is important that we never forget it.
Cycling is a sport close to the people. They can watch, train, speak… with the idols. And we have to keep doing it.

7. How are you managing to face this pressure by media and fans?
It is not easy. But I have a strong team around me to organize my schedule. Also, I have no doubts about my goals. And the priority is always the sportive point of view.
I am so sorry because I am sure that sometimes I can not answering to people who want to meet me, do interviews… It is truth that we have to be as close as possible with journalists and fans. But I need time to train and time to relax after the hardest training sessions. And I never forget that I have to honor the rainbow jersey. And it is not possible without a lot of train!

End of the first part – The second part will follow soon: Rui Costa talks about Paris-Nice and Tour de France.



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