Tour de Suisse runner-up Kim Kirchen has signed a two-year extension to his contract with T-Mobile, the team announced Thursday. The contract will keep the defending Luxembourg champion in magenta until the end of 2009. "I feel very much at home with T-Mobile," Kirchen said on the team's website, www.t-mobile-team.com. "I have developed enormously as a rider during my two seasons with the team. I am sure that I can go on to achieve even more in this environment."
The 28-year old, who came to the team in 2006 from Fassa Bortolo, is set to ride his first Tour de France for T-Mobile this year. "Kim has ridden well all season and it's a hell of a comeback," said general manager Bob Stapleton. "He did not have a good season in the team last year - he struggled, but this year he feels a lot better on the bike, he's got better power transfer, he's more comfortable and he's more durable."
Kirchen's second overall at the Tour de Suisse is just the latest good result in a solid season that included a second overall Tirreno-Adriatico and third place finishes in Milano-Torino and Brabantse Pijl.
"Plus he's got a good role in the team," added Stapleton. "The team atmosphere is very positive and he feels accepted and liked by his team mates. It's great to have him on board."