Dirk Demol Joins Team Astana
Team Astana has announced that Dirk Demol will join the Astana team family as team director in 2009. The Belgian is a former winner of the famed Hell of The North race Paris-Roubaix (1988) and most recently worked as team director with QuickStep-Innergetic, where he led Stijn Devolder to the biggest win of his career at the 2008 Tour of Flanders. Demol will join Team Astana for the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
After 14 years as a professional cyclist (1982-1995), Demol began his sport directing career with Groeninge Spurters Kortrijk (U23 Team with Tom Boonen and Stijn Devolder). In 2000 he joined Johan Bruyneel’s Team US Postal Service (later renamed Team Discovery Channel), where he worked the following eight years, helping to secure many grand tour wins for riders such as Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, Paolo Savoldelli and Roberto Heras.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work side-by-side with Dirk for almost a decade,” commented Team Astana General Manager Johan Bruyneel. “He has a wealth of cycling knowledge and experience and also has the ability to recognize young talent. Our Directors have done an excellent job this season and adding Dirk will only make us better in 2009.”
“These kinds of decisions are never easy" explained Demol "I joined [Team Quick Step] at the beginning of the season with ambition and to test myself in a new environment. But in reality I was never 100% satisfied with myself. I felt like the kind of rider who’s always trying to find the right cadence even if I could count on a fantastic team and an interesting and inspiring competitive program. There’s no doubt as to my full on participation until the end of the season. I’ll continue to give it my all, as I have been up to now. I’d like to thank all the members of the team for the great times we've had together.”
"I am excited to be reunited with Johan Bruyneel,” said Demol. “What Johan has been able to do this year with Team Astana is quite special and admirable and I look forward to being a part of his program once again. It will be a new team with some familiar faces, but I know the winning philosophy and structure have remained the same.”
“Demol was by Bruyneel’s side for eight years. Throughout Lance Armstrong’s golden years and the rising of Contador’s star, building the season around the Tour de France and the other great stage races. Team Quick Step’s philosophy is different, in consideration of both the historical and structural characteristics of the team as well as the athletes who make the roster. Our approach to the races and our work method were probably not completely assimilated by Dirk. We wish him and his team all the best for the future." said Team Quick Step General Manager Patrick Lefevere.