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Zülle leaves Banesto for second division German team

The Swiss cyclist, Alex Zülle, is leaving Banesto after only two seasons with the Spanish team. The 32 year-old has signed a two-year contract, with an option for a third year, with Germany's Team Coast - Wattenscheid.

The team is currently in the second division, but has ambitions to move up to the first next season. Team Coast has also secured the services of two other Swiss from top cycling teams: Roland Meier, who is with Cofidis, and Niki Aebersold from Rabobank.

Marc Biver, the agent for all three cyclists, said Zülle’s decision to move was taken after Banesto only offered him a one-year extension to his contract.

The move to Team Coast marks the fourth time Zülle has changed teams in his professional cycling career. After starting off at Once, he had a short spell with Festina and two seasons with Banesto.

The German team already employs two other Swiss cyclists, Alexander Aeschbach and Hanskurt Brand. The dominant Swiss presence on the team is partly due to the fact that one of its consultants, Wolfram Lindner, also acts as coach to the Swiss professionals.

Team Coast is currently placed a lowly 39th out of 46 teams in the ranking of second division teams by the International Cycling Union (UCI). It hopes its latest acquisitions will enable it to compete in the top division next year.

swissinfo with agencies

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