Dirk Demol (born November 4, 1959 in Kuurne) is a Belgian Director Sportif who most recently managed for UCI Pro Cycling Team Astana. A former professional road racing cyclist he rode for nine different teams in a career spanning 14 years (1982-1995). With his transition to directing and now joining the management of Team RadioShack, he has helped coach 5 different pro cycling teams. Though he has directed races all over the world he specializes in the spring-classics where much of his experience as a rider comes from having won many competitions in Belgium and northern France, including Paris-Roubaix.
Demol began cycling at the age of 12. However, starting to work at a young age in a carpet factory he had little time to pursue his passion other than evenings and weekends. He got more serious when he turned 15 beginning to enter and win competitions. He viewed riding as an escape from the toil of the carpet mills. But Belgian law did not allow him to sign on to a pro team until the age of 22. From that time forward, he never needed to work in the factory again.
After his cycling career he started directing with the Kortrijk Groeninge Spurters U23 Team that included such future stars as Tom Boonen and Stijn Devolder. In 2000 he joined Johan Bruyneel at the US Postal Cycling Team, later moving with Johan to Discovery. He then directed at Quick Step for the 2008 season moving back with Johan in 2009 to Team Astana. Bringing more than just his management and riding acumen to each team, he also helps scout for the stars of tomorrow. Johan has been quoted saying, “He has a wealth of cycling knowledge and experience and also has the ability to recognize young talent.”
As a Director he helped such stars as Devolder, Boonen, George Hincapie, Leif Hoste, Roger Hammond, and Vladimir Gusev to achieve excellent results in the spring classics with Devolder winning the Tour of Flanders while under his tutelage. With a solid Belgian contingent on Team RadioShack for the 2010 season including the powerful Gert Steegmans, watch for an increased focus in the big 1-day classics this year with Demol Directing the charge.
His major results include: 1st overall GP Waregem U23 in 1981, 1st overall Herne in 1982, 1st overall Wielsbeke and 1st Kortrijk Criterium in 1983, 1st Kortrijk Criterium and 1st Izegem in 1984, 1st Rummen in 1986, 1st GP Briek Schotte and 1st Stadsprijs Geraardsbergen in 1987, 1st Paris-Roubaix and 1st Dilsen in 1988, 1st Dentergem in 1989, 1st Omloop der Vlaamse Arbennen Inchtegem in 1990, 1st Roeselare in 1991, 1st Oostakker and 1st Kortrijk Criterium in 1994, and 1st Kortrijk Criterium in 1995.
By George Hurst