Double Ronde winner to reunite with Bruyneel and Demol?
After two listless campaigns in the colours of Vacansoleil-DCM, Stijn Devolder looks set to join RadioShack-Nissan next season, where he would be reunited with Johan Bruyneel and Dirk Demol.
Devolder spent four years under Bruyneel and Demol’s tutelage at US Postal and Discovery Channel, where he was initially touted as a future Grand Tour contender and successor to Lance Armstrong. When Discovery Channel withdrew from sponsorship at the end of 2007, Devolder left for QuickStep, where he went on to win the Tour of Flanders two years in succession.
The Kortrijk native has failed to win a race in his two years at Vacansoleil, however, and in July, the team confirmed that it would not renew his contract. While Devolder was coy about revealing his destination for 2013, Het Nieuwsblad reports that he is likely to be confirmed as a RadioShack rider in the next week.
“For me the most important thing is that I come into an environment with people who know me and trust me,” Devolder said. “Sometimes the difference between success and failure is a matter of detail, and for me details simply make a big difference.”
RadioShack manager Bruyneel, who has been charged with doping by the US Anti-Doping Agency, confirmed that he had been in talks with Devolder. “I don’t see why I wouldn’t do that,” he said.
Demol, who was something of a mentor to Devolder during his spell at US Postal and Discovery Channel, said that he was “ready to receive him with open arms.”
Both Cofidis and Europcar are also reported to have expressed interest in signing Devolder, but it is the Belgian’s preference is understood to be a switch to RadioShack.