For what has become one of the most ‘who is it?’ transfer rumours in World
cycling for some time, Swedish champion Magnus Backstedt has confirmed that
he has signed a two year contract with the American Team Slipstream/Chipotle.
Magnus in action 2007
Team boss Jonathan Vaughters announced new riders David Millar, Dave Zabriske
and Christian VandeVelde to the media at the finish of the Tour de France in
Paris. He also let it slip that Slipstream/Chipotle had signed a recent Paris
Roubaix winner, sending the Worlds cycling media into a frenzy of speculation.
After turning professional for Collstrop in 1996, the popular Swede has ridden
for Palmans, Gan, Credit Agricole, Fakta and Alessio. He has spent the last
three years with the Italian Liquigas outfit.
Backstedt said of the announcement "I feel that it is time for a new start
and I am extremely attracted by the programme and values of Team Slipstream/Chipotle.
Jonathan Vaughters and myself were team mates at Credit Agricole, as soon as
I spoke with him regarding the possibility of me joining the team, I knew it
was the right decision.
I believe that with riders such as myself, Millar, Zabriske and VandeVelde
joining guys like Danny Pate, we can make a significant impact on some major
races next year.
From my own perspective I have a big following in the USA and am really looking
forward to getting stuck into races such as the Tour of California and racing
for an American team".
When asked about the programme for Slipstream/Chipotle in 2008, the former
Paris Roubaix winner was confident that his new team will be invited to some
big races " I think Slipstream/Chipotle will be a breath of fresh air for
cycling. I’m sure we will get a ride in Paris Roubaix and we will be on the
start line for the Tour de France.
With the guys we have, I think we could do some damage in team time trials
as well!" He concluded with a smile.