By Susan Westemeyer in Dortmund, Germany
Team Milram introduced its new captain Linus Gerdemann and announced that he would be joined by sprinter Gerald Ciolek at a press conference Thursday in Dortmund, Germany. The two German riders are transferring over from the USA-based Team Columbia.
"German cycling has a difficult past and I think I can help," said Grand Tour hopeful Gerdemann to Cyclingnews. "German cycling has given me a lot in the past and I want to pay it back."
Milram manager Gerry van Gerwen said that it took four contracts to secure Gerdemann's services as the 26 year-old still had an agreement with Columbia through the coming season. He was not allowed to say how much was paid to buy out the contract.
It had long been expected that Tour de France stage winner Gerdemann and Ciolek would join Milram. Gerdemann had said that he wanted to ride for a German team and fast man Ciolek, who did not attend the press conference, was not offered a new contract at Columbia, which has top sprinters Mark Cavendish and André Greipel.
The team also confirmed its complete roster of 25 riders for 2009. More details on its signings will come soon on Cyclingnews.