The new German-Italian team Milram is busy preparing for its first season in the ProTour next year. The squad sponsored by a German dairy products company will be managed by Domina Vacanze director Gianluigi Stanga, and include both Alessandro Petacchi and Erik Zabel. Dutch criterium manager Gerry van Gerwen, who has been appointed second manager of the outfit, is reported to be in Italy at the moment to further plan the team's line-up. The full rider roster will probably consist of nine Germans and 20 Italians.
"Erik Zabel will meet Gianluigi Stanga in Bergamo tomorrow to sort out the last details of his contract," Van Gerven told news agency dpa. "I'm in Bergamo now to talk on the racing programme of the riders." The Dutchman does not expect any problems between the two top sprinters of the team. "I've known both of them for a long time; there won't be any problems. If you sum up the qualities of both, it makes us three times stronger," Van Gerven commented.
The new team will be presented on January 10, 2006, in Bremen, Germany.