Damiano Cunego

Italy?s Damiano Cunego has extended his contract with the Lampre-Fondital team and will be the team?s stage race and hilly classics team leader until the end of 2008. The 2004 Giro d?Italia winner had a series of offers from the likes of T-Mobile, Quick Step, Liquigas and Milram but after negotiations decided to stay with Lampre.

Cunego began training for 2007 on November 23 and signed his new contract during the recent Lampre training camp in Italy. He will make his 2007 season debut at the Ruta del Sol next year and then aim to do well in the Ardennes classics before focusing on the Giro d?Italia.

The 25 year-old former junior world champion and white jersey winner at the Tour de France will not ride the 2007 Tour but instead hopes to be a key part of the Italian team for the world championships in Stuttgart.

?I didn?t have any doubts about what to do and I?m happy to extend my contract with the Lampre-Fondital team because of the trust and support the team has given me,? Cunego said in a team statement.

?It?s great to have the support of all the sponsors and I hope I can give me make them happy with some good victories in the future.?

In the photograph Cunego shows off the 2007 Lampre jersey with sponsors and team manager Giuseppe Saronni.

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