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The Discovery Channel team's director Johan Bruyneel was the subject of widespread speculation on...
The Discovery Channel team's director Johan Bruyneel was the subject of widespread speculation on Friday, when rumours hit the press that the Belgian might be moving over to the Astana team. Bruyneel, who announced he would retire following the team's decision to cease it's drive for a new sponsor and disband the operation at the end of the season, confirmed that he had been contacted by the Astana team, according to the team's website, thepaceline.com.
A statement by the team's communications director, P.J. Rabice, explained, "In a brief phone conversation with Johan Bruyneel, he confirmed to me that he was in fact contacted by the Astana Team with an offer to manage the Team beginning in 2008. However, he had just returned from holiday and knew too little about the offer at this time to say whether it is a consideration."
It would come as no surprise to see the man who directed Lance Armstrong to seven Tour victories back behind the wheel of a team car. However, the Italian press speculated further, with tuttobici.com reporting that Bruyneel would bring Tour champion Alberto Contador, Portugese rider Sergio Paulinho and Lithuanian Tomas Vaitkus along with him to Astana. Thepacline.com listed the riders who have confirmed new contracts, and these three riders do not yet have teams next to their names.
Tony Cruz is heading back to the North American scene with the BMC team, while Tom Danielson and Trent Lowe have confirmed with Slipstream, while Matt White is moving to that squad as a director sportif. Stijn Devolder will stay in his home country of Belgium with the Quick Step-Innergetic squad, while George Hincapie is confirmed to be heading to T-Mobile. Egoi Martinez will ride for the Basque Euskaltel-Euskadi squad.
In other transfer news, British Olympic and World Champion Bradley Wiggins will leave the French Cofidis team and don the magenta strip of the T-Mobile squad for the upcoming season, according to BBC Sport.
Finally, 22 year-old Lithuanian Ignas Konovalovas has signed with Crédit Agricole.