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Contract news: Azevedo, Ceramica Flaminia

After announcing he was to leave Discovery Channel, Jose Azevedo now made known which squad he chose for next year: Portuguese Continental team Benfica. To be able to spend more time with his family, the 33 year-old Portuguese rider opted for a smaller home team, even though he once finished fifth in the Tour de France. "It wasn't an easy decision," Azevedo said. "Discovery Channel is one of the best teams in the world, and it's a dream come true for every rider to race for it. But I've thought about this a long time, and I'm happy with my choice."

Italian team Ceramica Flaminia has announced two signings for the 2007 roster: Raffaele Illiano will be reinforcing the squad at short stage races and mountain top finishes. The 29 year-old Selle Italia rider achieved several good placings this season, including a fifth in a stage of the Giro d'Italia. Moreover, the team directed by Roberto Marrone extended the contract of Manuele Spadi. who did well in the Peace Race, finishing seventh overall.

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