Juan Jose Lobato after signing with Nippo Vini Fantini: I will start the season with a smile
Feb 23 2018 09:29 pm CET

Juan Jose Lobato after signing with Nippo Vini Fantini: I will start the season with a smile
Juan Jose Lobato after signing with Nippo Vini Fantini: I will start the season with a smile
Nippo-Vini Fantini © Mary Cárdenas / CyclingPub.com

Spaniard Juan Jose Lobato has signed with Nippo Vini Fantini Europa Ovini for the 2018 season, with options for 2019.

The rider was part of LottoNL-Jumbo until last December when he was caught using unprescribed sleeping pills and sharing them with teammates Antwan Tolhoek and Pascal Eenkhoorn, during the training camp in Girona, Spain.

"Juan Jose now fully understands how it works inside a team that has ethical rules as a fundament and I'm convinced he will not repeat this kind of mistakes," said Francesco Pelosi, team manager. "Our team is based on ethical values and a strong moral, very clear and well defined, but also open to the comprehension, where it is motivated.

"We don't want to exclude a rider with good intentions and we want to give a second chance to those who deserve it."

The rider comes to the team to support the leaders in monuments and stage races. "Right now I'm travelling to France," said the rider to Spanish website Zikloland. "The idea is to debut on Saturday in France and I will also ride on Sunday (Faun Environnement-Classic de l'Ardeche Rhone Crussol and Royal Bernard Drome Classic)."

"Those are the first races of the year so it will be normal that I won't have a competition rhythm. But I will start the season with a smile. After all the troubles of this winter, what I needed the most was to feel like a professional cyclist again."

Lobato will continue his season with Strade Bianche, the GP Industria & Artigianato, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-San Remo. "The team won't ride the Giro d'Italia but it has invitations for the RCS races and those will be the main objective," the rider explained. "The calendar is very good and includes races like the Tour de Suisse, which is also part of the WorldTour.

"I will also ride the Settimana di Coppi e Bartali, the Limburg Classic, the Brabantse Pijl and the Amstel Gold Race, which is a race I got to know last year and I liked a lot. The last race that I have on my calendar for the first part of the season is the Tour of Croatia."




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