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Martin turns down Team RadioShack

Best young rider Tony Martin (Columbia-HTC) would surrender the white jersey to Andy Schleck.

Best young rider Tony Martin (Columbia-HTC) would surrender the white jersey to Andy Schleck. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Tony Martin, one of the discoveries of this year's Tour de France, has rejected an offer to join Lance Armstrong's newly-formed Team RadioShack for the coming season. Martin said he would extend his contract with Team Columbia-HTC. Teammate Marcel Sieberg has also extended with Columbia for two more years.

The 24-year-old Martin, who wore the white jersey for awhile as the best young rider at the Tour de France, told Sport Bild, "An inquiry from Armstrong is of course complimentary. But Team Columbia is the best for my further development."

Martin's contract runs through 2010 and the extension will take him through 2011.  "We have agreed verbally. Only the signatures are missing."

Martin has three wins this season including two individual time trials and the mountainous stage eight of the Tour de Suisse, in which he finished second overall.  He also won the mountains jersey at both the Tour de Suisse and Paris-Nice. In the Tour de France, in addition to leading the young rider ranking for much of the three weeks, he finished second on the difficult Mont Ventoux stage, as part of a successful escape.

Sieberg extended his relationship with US-based Columbia-HTC for two years.  He rode for Team Milram in 2007 before joining Columbia. The 27-year-old is a Classics specialist and sprinter, and was the team's highest finisher this year in Paris-Roubaix.

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