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Gert Steegmans (Katusha)
Move to French team possible as Bernaudeau builds
Gert Steegmans looks set to find a new team quickly following the dissolution of his contract with Russian ProTour team, Katusha, on Wednesday. Belgian media sources have reported that Steegmans is in talks with a number of teams, with French squad BBox Bouygues Telecom being suggested as a likely destination.
Belgian newspaper De Standaard reported on Thursday that Steegmans may sign with Bouygues Telecom as team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau looks to improve the squad's chances for next year's Spring Classics.
Bouygues Telecom has traditionally taken a back seat to Belgian and Dutch squads in the first part of the season, but the addition of Steegmans would provide valuable experience for the northern Classics. Currently, there are no Belgian riders on the team's predominantly French 27-man roster
Despite a strong performance at last month's Tour de France, where the team won two stages, Bernaudeau will be looking to secure his team's future over the next twelve months.
The French telecommunications company, Bouygues Telecom, announced on July 15 that it would support the team until the end of next year. The ProTour squad announced at the same time that it would look for a co-sponsor for next season, capable of assuming full sponsorship in 2011.