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Sunweb woos Wellens, demotes Vannoppen

The Sunweb-Projob team is continuing to look for riders to build the team's strength, and after signing third ranked Klaas Vantornout for the 2008-2009 season, the team is reported to be looking at Belgian champion Bart Wellens as a possible signing.

"Bart Wellens is a top pick, but I'm also thinking of Niels Albert," said manager Jurgen Mettepenningen. Both Wellens and Albert's contracts are ending in 2008, and Mettepenningen hopes that Wellens will not be too hasty to resign with his Fidea team. "I have three new financial partners starting January 1, with which we can attract another top rider."

The Sunweb ProJob manager has been openly critical of American Jonathan Page and Belgians Tom Vannoppen and David Willemsens, who he views as not getting the kind of results he had expected of them this season, and has made no secret that he is looking for more top riders.

Page agreed last month to end his contract with the team at the end of this season, while Vannoppen has been given a choice to remain with the team as an elite racer without contract after his contract ends on December 31. Mettepenningen extended the same offer to Willemsens.

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