Linus Gerdemann will leave Team Columbia and Maxime Monfort will join it, the USA-based team of Bob Stapleton announced Wednesday morning.
Colombia released Gerdemann from his contract, which ran through 2009, as of October 31. According to the Columbia press release, his transfer to Team Milram "has been approved by the UCI and is subject to meeting final contract provisions."
"We are very happy about the signing of Linus Gerdemann. After long negotiations we can finally confirm the transfer," said General Manager Gerry van Gerwen. "We have the rider that we wanted most, who will lead Team Milram in the coming years."
Gerdemann, 26, rode for Team CSC in 2005 before the team released him from his contract early to move to T-Mobile, the forerunner of Columbia. In 2007 he won the seventh stage of the Tour de France and he took over the leader's s yellow jersey for one stage.
He missed much of this season due to serious knee and leg injuries suffered in a crash in the Tirreno-Adriatico time trial, but came back in the late summer to win the Tour de l'Ain, the Coppa Agostoni and the Deutschland Tour.
Belgium's Monfort, 25, is leaving Team Cofidis. He turned professional in 2004 with Landbouwkrediet-Colnago and joined Cofidis in 2006. This year, he finished fifth overall in the Vuelta al País Vasco, ninth in the Dauphiné Libéré and 23rd in the Tour de France.
"We are very excited about our roster for 2009, which features promising young talent from 17 different countries," said Columbia manager Rolf Aldag. "Maxime is a great addition to our strong roster and we are pleased he has chosen to join Team Columbia." (SW)