The tug-of-war over Linus Gerdemann continues. He still has a year on his contract with Team Columbia, but wants to ride for Team Milram next year. Negotiations are underway, with both sides claiming to have the upper hand.
"I assume that we will have everything settled before October 31," Milram manager Gerry van Gerwen told the dpa agency, while Columbia manager Bob Stapleton said, "We have a team with young, strong riders and Linus fits in well."
Gerdemann has said that he would prefer to ride for a German team. Stapleton and van Gerwen held talks during the recent World Championships, apparently over the amount which must be paid to buy off Gerdemann's contract. Van Gerwen is now said to be holding talks with the rider's management.
It would not be the first time that Gerdemann has broken a contract early to sign with another team. He turned pro with Team CSC in 2005, and in that summer agreed to sign with T-Mobile for the 2007 season. CSC released him from his contract, allowing him to join the German team for the 2006 season.(SW)