Team transfer news round-up
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Team transfer news round-up

by Nick Mulder at 3:36 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Team Radio Shack

Officially, September 1st marks the day that riders and teams are allowed to make contract negotiations public. Today, several big names have shed light upon their futures, including Levi Leipheimer, who will be joining Lance Armstrong’s Team Radio Shack as the Texan prepares to win an eighth Tour de France.

Leipheimer, Tour de France podium finisher, intends to go for a fourth straight Tour of California victory in 2010. In July, however, his focus will turn towards the Tour, where he will be hoping to stand atop the podium in Paris alongside Armstrong.

Leipheimer told Cyclingnews that he is "not handicapped by being on the same team as Lance”. He says the presence of the seven-time Tour de France winner makes him “ride stronger and better”, in effect, raising the bar rather than causing tension.

Leipheimer will be joining Astana team mates Jose Luis Rubiera and Sergio Paulinho, both highly respected domestiques, necessary if Armstrong is to make a serious run at the maillot jaune.

Also joining the American formation is Belgian duo, Gert Steegmans and Sebastien Rosseler who raced together for Patrick Lefevere’s Quick-Step team in 2008. Steegmans, winner of two Tour de France stages, has a powerful sprint but is hoping to regain his form after a year of injury, and book success in next spring’s cobbled classics with Rosseler at his side.

Team Sky

Not to be outdone by the Americans, British Team Sky is also quickly taking shape. According to ozcycling, three Australians have signed; Simon Gerrans from Cervelo, Chris Sutton from Garmin-Slipstream, and Mathew Hayman from Rabobank. Kiwi Greg Henderson, surprise winner of stage three in the Vuelta A Espana, has also been linked to the team.

Gerrans, 29, has the most notable palmares, including the French semi-classic GP Ouest France – Plouay and a stage win in this year’s Giro d´italia. Sutton will be reinforcing the British team as they tackle cobbled classics, while Hayman will likely become Henderson’s lead out man.

But that’s not all, as Team Sky is also looking towards Norwegian trio to reinforce their classics campaign, including the likes of Edvald Boasson Hagen, winner of Gent–Wevelgem and the Eneco Tour, Saxo Bank´s Kurt Asle Arvesen, and upcoming Norwegian talent Lars Petter Nordhaug are all on board for 2010.

More Transfers

Since Kim Kirchen has committed to the Russian, Team Katusha, after negotiations with Columbia-HTC reached an end. The American team is looking for a replacement to fill the gap the Luxembourger left in their general classification and classics teams. The 29 year old Dane, Lars Yitting Bak, has taken Columbia’s offer, despite interest from several other teams after his recent win in the Eneco Tour.

Contract Renewals

While many riders are hoping to restart their careers with new teams, many riders hope to repeat this season’s successes and are happy to renew their contracts. Cervelo’s Heinrich Haussler, who placed second in Milan-Sanremo and the Tour of Flanders and capped off his season by winning the 13th stage in the Tour de France, has re-signed until 2011.

Team mates Ignatas Konovalovas, Brett Lancaster, and German champion Martin Reimer will also stay on board through 2011.

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