When Lampre-Merida signed Rui Costa in the winter, it was the world champion who was expected to take the big headlines for the Italian team.
But with a strong squad at the Giro – Diego Ulissi, Przemyslaw Niemiec and Damiano Cunego leading the way – they have proved there are many more strings to their bow than just supporting the man in the rainbow jersey at the Tour de France.
And Ulissi appears to be the form man of the lot – his stage five victory being his third of the season, and second at WorldTour level after success at the Tour Down Under.
At 24, Ulissi continues to go from strength-to-strength – the opposite trajectory to Cunego. Though Cunego remains in the hunt, another strong ride from Ulissi could well see the younger rider given the position of team leader, and it would certainly be well-deserved on this year’s form.