The Discovery Channel team may be gone at the end of this season, but its best riders are starting to find safety nets. The latest rider to secure a job for next season is American Tom Danielson who will ride for Team Slipstream/ Chipotle, team director Jonathan Vaughters told the Denver Post on Thursday.
Vaughters had hinted that he would be lending some more firepower to the team's stage race squad, and Danielson has shown his abilities time and again, winning the 2003 Tour de Langkawi, the 2005 Tour de Georgia, the 2006 Tour of Austria, as well as playing a supporting role in the Grand Tours.
His early career win in Langkawi put a lot of pressure on his shoulders, and his move to the Discovery Channel team in 2005 had many asking if he was America's next superstar. "He's a big natural talent," Vaughters told the Colorado paper. "He went to Discovery and got caught up in the whole 'next Lance Armstrong' thing, which he is not."
Vaughters said that the Colorado native would be a better prospect for winning one day races or stages in Grand Tours. "I don't know whether he'll be able to recover from day to day like Lance did," Vaughters said. "In a one-day race, it's not important. He can win a stage of the Tour de France without a doubt."
Danielson will join an impressive list of riders heading to the Professional Continental team which has aspirations of joining the ProTour in 2009. Also on the team are fellow Americans David Zabriskie, Christian Vande Velde, Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt, Brit David Millar, Irishman Daniel Martin, New Zealander Julian Dean, Frenchman Chrisophe Laurent and Dutch riders Huub Duyn and Martin Maaskant.
Duyn revealed on his personal website that he has extended with the team for two years.