High Road Sports, Inc, the owners of Team Columbia, announced a provisional 2009 roster which includes few changes from the current season's successful crop of riders. The most notable absence on the list Gerald Ciolek, who was last known to be deciding between Columbia and Milram, and the additions of Mark Renshaw (from Credit Agricole) and Michael Albasini (from Liquigas).
"After such a successful season, we don't want to make a lot of changes within the team," says Team Manager Rolf Aldag. "Our riders showed a lot of courage and motivation throughout the season and we saw the team grow closer together as the season went on. We want to stay focused on developing young talented athletes under the direction of experienced veterans, with the ambition of having just as much success as we have achieved in 2008."
Not on the roster are Roger Hammond, who has been rumoured to be joining the new Cervélo TestTeam, Scott Davis, Andreas Klier and Servais Knaven. Also missing is Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins, who is listed on velo-club.net as joining the Garmin-Chipotle squad.
"The team is not final and we will see a few slight changes over the next month, but we are very happy with the line up so far and we are already looking forward to 2009," added Aldag.
Columbia for 2009 (as of mid-September): Michael Barry, Marcus Burghardt, Mark Cavendish, John Devine, Bernhard Eisel, Linus Gerdemann, Bert Grabsch, Andre Greipel, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, George Hincapie, Kim Kirchen, Craig Lewis, Thomas Lövkvist, Tony Martin, Marco Pinotti, Morris Possoni, Frantisek Rabon, Vicente Reynes, Michael Rogers, Marcel Sieberg, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Mark Renshaw and Michael Albasini
The women's team, currently ranked number one in the world and leading the women's UCI World Cup Series will also make very few changes. The ten riders currently confirmed for 2009 are Mara Abbott, Kim Anderson, Judith Arndt, Kate Bates, Chantal Beltman, Emilia Fahlin, Luise Keller, Ina-yoko Teutenberg, Linda Villumsen and Alex Wrubleski.