The Discovery Channel team has formally announced its signing of Levi Leipheimer, who rode for the team in its previous incarnation as US Postal Service in 2000 and 2001. While riding for US Postal in 2001, Leipheimer achieved his best result in a grand tour, finishing third in the Vuelta a Espana. He's clearly hoping that returning to Johan Bruyneel's outfit will help him regain the form he displayed in 2001.
"I'm very excited about returning to the Discovery Channel Team, its family of sponsors and working with Johan Bruyneel once again, Leipheimer said in a Discovery team statement. "This team has a long history of success and I plan to work hard to continue their winning ways in 2007."
Discovery Channel also announced the acquisition of two new faces for 2007: Portuguese rider Sergio Paulinho (26), currently with Astana-Würth and Lithuanian Thomas Vaitkus (24) who joins Discovery from AG2R Prévoyance. Vaitkus was the under-23 time trial world champion in 2002, a race in which Paulinho took the bronze. Subsequently Paulinho won the silver medal in the 2004 Olympic road race, while Vaitkus won a stage of the Giro d'Italia earlier this year.
Discovery directeur sportif Johan Bruyneel said of the additions, "All three of these riders have proven themselves in the Pro Tour ranks and I expect them to fit well into our team. Each of them brings different strengths and I am excited about having them ride for Discovery Channel in 2007."