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Leipheimer to Discovery

By Jeff Jones and Susan Westemeyer

Levi Leipheimer is leaving the Gerolsteiner team at the end of the season, and will sign for Discovery Channel, which is expected to confirm this later today. According to Gerolsteiner's bike sponsor Specialized, Leipheimer called them after the Tour to announce his transfer to the Discovery Channel team, effective January 1, 2007. "My best results, wins at the Tour of Germany and Dauphiné Libéré, happened on my S-Works Tarmac SL, but Discovery (Channel) made me an offer I could not refuse," he was quoted as saying, while further expressing his thanks for Specialized's support.

Gerolsteiner spokesman Mathias Wieland told, "We had agreed with Levi that we would sit down together after the Tour and make the decision. Levi wanted to know earlier, and told us that he was having discussions with other teams."

Leipheimer is expected to ride the Deutschland Tour, where he is the defending champion.

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