2003 MTB world champion Filip Meirhaeghe has signed a three-year contract with Belgian Continental Pro team Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, for whom he had already raced in 2002. The 34-year-old will participate in road and MTB races, as this discipline is still the Belgian's greatest ambition. Therefore, the team has announced the creation of a mountainbike squad named Versluys-Landbouwkrediet-Sportstech.
"I've known Filip Meirhaeghe as a valuable rider on road, mountainbike and even track," said the team's general manager Gerard Bulens. "Indeed, I'm a great supporter of his and want to give him a second chance." Meirhaeghe tested positive for EPO at the Mont Saint Anne race in Canada in June 2004 and then admitted his doping offence openly. While being punished with a 15-month ban from cycling, the Belgian wrote a book Positive. His ban is due to end on January 14, 2006.
"I'm very happy and would like to thank all my sponsors," said Meirhaeghe. "I will keep on fighting and do everything I can to fulfil my promises. I shouldn't say this, but Beijing 2008 could be a goal for me; at least I have two years to prepare for it," he added.