Dirk Demol will re-join his former boss Johan Bruyneel at the Astana Team in 2009. The Belgian will leave his post at the Quick Step team to take the directeur sportif position at Astana for two years.
"These kinds of decisions are never easy," Demol said. "I joined this team 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 had together."
Team manager Patrick Lefevere understood Demol's motivation to go back to work with his former boss. "Demol was by Bruyneel's side for eight years," commented Lefevere, "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.
"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."
Bruyneel was happy to have Demol back in the team car for 2009. "I've had the opportunity to work side-by-side with Dirk for almost a decade," Bruyneel said. "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."