Quickstep rider Servais Knaven has announced that he has signed a two-year deal with German T-Mobile for next season. "Sometime ago Rolf Aldag [who will be a new directeur sportif at T-Mobile - ed.] contacted me," the 35 year-old Dutchman told AD. "I know him well from the years at TVM, when he came with us to winter training camps. He knows what my capabilities are, and how much I can work for a team. Yet the financial situation wasn't clear, but when I heard that Tristan Hoffman from CSC is also moving to T-Mobile [as directeur sportif - ed.], I had real hope. This week, we agreed. They sent me a confirmation fax. I'm really happy. Even if it is a new team to me, it already feels familiar."
The main reason for Knaven to leave Quickstep was that he felt he could still be competitive in the spring classics, but that the team understandably focused on World Champion Tom Boonen. "I let the management know that I negotiated with two other teams," he continued. "I hadn't been nominated to participate in the Ronde van Vlaanderen in the spring, and I felt personally attacked by that. I was suddenly too old, and missed explosiveness, but to me the situation was different. At Quickstep, you are up against a towering favourite especially for the Flemish classics. Everybody focuses on Tom Boonen - that is logical, but it is also the reason why others slowly move out of the picture."
Knaven then spoke to team manager Lefévère about it. "I had the impression that he really valued our conversation. In this way, our cooperation of six years ends in a worthy manner."
T-Mobile, meanwhile, has not yet commented or confirmed the announcement.