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Former world road race champion Rui Costa will have company from close to home alongside him next season, with his Lampre-Merida team confirming that it has given his older brother a contract.
Mario Costa has inked a deal with the Italian squad and is looking forward to the experience.
“It’s such a pride and satisfaction for me to wear the colours of Lampre-Merida in 2015,” he said.
“I will do my best to honour this opportunity, I’ll work hard daily to meet the targets that the team will propose to me.
“It will be exciting to fight in support of my brother Rui in his attempts of achieving top results,” he added, thanking the team and its general manager Brent Copeland.
Both Costa brothers tested positive for the substance methylhexaneamine at the 2010 Portuguese national championships.
They were suspended but were allowed to return to racing after several months when WADA ruled that methylhexaneamine was now classified as a ‘specified substance’, and liable to lesser sanction if proven it was ingested accidentally.
The brothers said that it was contained in a supplement they were taking, and that it was not listed in the ingredients. This was accepted and they were out of action for a shorter time than might have been the case.
Mario Costa took silver in the 2011 national road race championships. He was tenth in the road race and ninth in the time trial this year.
He competed with the Continental Team OFM – Quinta da Lixa for the past two seasons.
“The Portuguese cyclist can give an additional value on flat courses, just what the sport directors were searching for,” said Lampre-Merida.
Rui Costa won the world road race championships on Firenze in September 2013. He has won the past three editions of the Tour de Suisse.