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A still soggy Gert Steegmans waves happily from the podium.
Belgian attracted by Bruyneel's philosophy
Gert Steegmans said that he is looking forward to a “new start” next season with Team RadioShack. The Belgian, who left Team Katusha during this season, said that he was “very honoured” when the newly-formed US team expressed an interest in him.
Many teams contacted him when his contract with Katusha was dissolved, he told Sporza. “RadioShack came later. I was very honoured that they were interested in me. After a few conversations with Dirk Demol, everything was settled.”
Steegmans joined Katusha this season after six years with Lotto and Quick Step. The Belgian left the team in August after refusing to sign the squad's anti-doping charter. He disagreed with the Russian team's demands that riders pay five times their salary if caught doping.
The 28-year-old said he liked the team philosophy of Johan Bruyneel, who is likely to become Team RadioShack's new team manager. “He makes the riders better. I want to ride in a team where I can perform at an optimal level," said Steegmans, and that he could see this happening at Team Astana this year, “even though the atmosphere there was not ideal. That says a lot about team management.”
Team Katusha, in the meantime, will be nothing more than a bad memory for Steegmans. “I want to forget the lost season with Katusha as quickly as possible,” he said.
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