Tony Martin and Levi Leipheimer linked to Omega Pharma – Quick Step
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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tony Martin and Levi Leipheimer linked to Omega Pharma – Quick Step

by Xylon van Eyck at 5:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Belgian team looking to beef up squad in search of points

Levi LeipheimerSpeculation continues to grow on Tony Martin’s future and which team he’ll be riding for next year, particularly as tomorrow marks the date when HTC-Highroad riders are contractually allowed to make public their transfers.

The German is now reported to have signed a contract with what will be known as Omega Pharma – Quick Step next year, along with American Levi Leipheimer. Martin has previously been linked to teams such as Skil-Shimano, Garmin-Cervélo, GreenEdge and Team RadioShack but, according to a report from Het Nieuwsblad this morning, an announcement will be made soon on him joining the Belgian squad.

If this is indeed the case, Martin will join already-confirmed HTC-Highroad colleagues Brian Holm and twin brothers Martin and Peter Velits.

The time trial specialist has progressed steadily throughout his career and this year enjoyed his most successful season to date with eight victories. They include taking Paris-Nice plus the final time trial in the Tour de France and, two days ago, the individual time trial in the Vuelta a España.

It’s also reported that Leipheimer will make the switch from the American squad after having what he describes as one of the most successful seasons of his career. The 37 year old recently won the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and the Tour of Utah; earlier in the year he showed he can still compete strongly in Europe when he won the Tour de Suisse.

The American is no stranger to foreign teams and has previously ridden for Dutch team Rabobank, German team Gerolsteiner and Kazakhstan’s Astana.

Quick Step is currently sixteenth in the World Tour rankings and could face losing its World Tour licence should it not have sufficient points at the end of the season. Riders take whatever points they’ve scored with them in the previous season to their new teams so the addition of Martin and Leipheimer is sure to help the Belgian squad in that regard.

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