Contract news

Michael Rasmussen will stay with the Rabobank Cycling Team for the next two seasons. The Danish climber reached an agreement with general director Theo de Rooij over a contract extension. Rasmussen was the star performer of the team in this year's Tour de France, winning the stage to Mulhouse and the polka-dot mountains jersey. In 2003, he also won a stage in the Vuelta a España.

Italian Giuliano Figueras (Lampre-Caffita) will ride for Acqua e Sapone for the coming season. Figueras was recently cleared of doping charges relating to the raids in the 2001 Giro d'Italia.

Team LPR will sign its 18th rider for 2006 in Paolo Valoti. The Domina Vacanze rider won the Coppa Agostoni and Coppa Placci this year, and was another one of those affected by the fallout of Giancarlo Ferretti's vanishing team. Valoti reached a verbal agreement with LPR team manager Oscar Piscina, and could sign a contract by the end of the week.

Dutch rider Sebastian Langeveld has reached a verbal agreement with the Skil-Shimano team for the next two season. The 20 year-old is the reigning Dutch U23 road champion.

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