Skil-Shimano starts two pro careers

The Skil-Shimano team has signed two young German riders for their first professional contracts. Paul Martens (22) has signed a two-year contract with the team and Christoph Meschenmoser (also 22) has inked a one-year deal.

Both riders have had promising careers in the junior and under-23 ranks and the team says they chose to sign with Skil-Shimano because of its emphasis on developing young talent. Martens is under-23 German national time trial champion and won the 2005 'Radbundesliga' under-23 series, including a victory in the Harzrundfahrt, considered one of the hardest races in the series.

Meschenmoser was junior world champion in the individual pursuit in 2001 but was out of action for most of 2004 after a severe crash at the end of 2003. In 2005, however he made a successful comeback that included 14th on general classification in the Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt.

Martens and Meschenmoser join René Weissinger in Skil-Shimano's German contingent and the team intends for its 2006 race program to include a substantial share of German races for these riders.

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