Ex-Australian professional Scott Sunderland has announced his imminent departure from Danish outfit CSC to join the new Cervélo team of Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre.
Sunderland, who in four years with the Bjarne Riis-owned outfit has helped garner some major one-day and stage race wins, issued a statement on Friday following incessant rumours of his departure.
Currently behind the CSC team car at the Tour of Spain, Sunderland said the "2008 season will be my last as Sports Director with Riis Cycling. In 2009 I'll fill the position of Sports Manager with the new Team Cervélo."
Sastre, who won the yellow jersey last July, confirmed earlier Friday he has quit the Danish team to join Canadian outfit Cervélo - a top end bike manufacturer which for the past few years has supplied all of CSC's bikes.
Sunderland said the decision to leave CSC after four successful years was difficult, especially as Riis and fellow manager Kim Andersen had given him the opportunity to launch his managerial career.
But the Australian admitted he had been lured by Cervélo's philosophy and the fresh challenge that will give him.
"Since I joined Team CSC end of 2004, we have been very successful and secured remarkable maiden wins in my favourite races, the spring classics; that was an unforgettable experience," added Sunderland. "However, I have been blessed, or maybe cursed, with a restless and adventurous nature and especially since our Tour de France victory, I have felt an increasing urge to move on to different challenges, get off the beaten track once again.
"My desire to further my career encouraged me to accept the offer to move up a step and become Sports Manager with Team Cervélo."
© BikeRadar & AFP 2008