New Zealand's Julian Dean will leave his French ProTour squad Crédit Agricole in 2008, following the announcement of his signing with Jonathan Vaughters' Team Slipstream Professional Continental squad. The Kiwi rider is the latest rider in a string of high-profile moves to joins the American squad, which is aiming for a Tour de France wildcard next season.
"I can now officially let you all know that I'm up for a change of scenery next year," Dean revealed on his website, juliandean.co.nz. "The 2008 season will see me heading to the ever-expanding American team, Slipstream, along with ex-teammates, David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde. Also heading in the same direction is Dave Millar."
Zabriskie, Vande Velde and Millar were all announced as signings of the squad at an exclusive post-Tour de France announcement in the European nation following the final stage of this year's race. The quartet will add more clout to the squad's lineup, and all support Vaughters' strong stance against performance enhancing drugs.
"For me it's just all about tackling a new opportunity and a new environment and I'm really looking forward to it all," he said. "I enjoyed my time on Credit Agricole and it wasn't an easy decision to leave but I feel ready to move on."
Vaughters revealed to Cyclingnews that he has also signed a former Paris-Roubaix winner for 2008, although he refused to name which of the six active winners, which include Stuart O'Grady (2007), Fabian Cancellara (2006), Tom Boonen (2005), Magnus Backstedt (2004), Peter Van Petegem (2003), and Frederic Guesdon (1997), he has signed. The American squad is expected to apply for a ProTour licence for 2009.