Discovery Channel has announced their final three riders to round out the team's 2007 roster. As well as the addition of Alberto Contador, as mentioned yesterday, Steve Cummings and John Devine will join the American registered ProTour team.
Contador, a talent in the mountains, is expected to ride in support of the team's leaders, namely Ivan Basso at the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, but will also be given the opportunity to pursue solo wins. Said team manager Johan Bruyneel: "I was fortunate to have the space and the budget to sign a rider of Alberto's calibre. He really impressed me last year and I expect him to do well in this team and win some big races for us."
As a complement to Contador's climbing assets, British rider Steve Cummings arrives at Discovery Channel with a track background and a sprinter's mentality. In a squad known for their Tour de France legacy, the signing of a true sprinter marks an evolution of the team's objectives. "Steve's track background will be an asset to this team and provide us the opportunity to be competitive in races where we have not been in the past-those with a sprint finish. I am sure he will adapt to the road style quickly and prove his worth immediately."
The final edition to the roster will officially arrive in July 2007, when 21 year-old John Devine leaves his place in the US national under-23 (U-23) squad, which spends their training and racing time in Belgium. The mountain biker turned road racer will follow in the footsteps of other US national team graduates like Dave Zabriskie. Bruyneel has watched Devine for a few years and is confident in the youngster's capabilities. "After watching John train and interact with his team-mates during the December training camp, I was even more convinced than before that I made a good choice," said Bruyneel. "He's an unproven talent, but I will allow him time to adapt to racing at the ProTour level and expect him to progress quickly."
The 28-man roster boasts riders from 15 countries and the entire team will officially convene for the first time in late January for a training camp in Southern California.