New York Lance Armstrong won his first seven Tour de France titles with Johan Bruyneel as his team director. No way would he try for No. 8 without him.
Armstrong said Wednesday he will ride for Bruyneel's Astana team as he seeks to win the 2009 Tour and will compete in the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia, in January.
"While we looked at other teams and talked to other teams, as a friend and as a longtime partner and as somebody that really trusts Johan on every little decision in the program, I could not ever imagine racing against him or racing without him," Armstrong said.
Kazakh Cycling Federation deputy chief Nikolai Proskurin told The Associated Press that Armstrong agreed to ride for the Kazakhstan-based team for free the first year and has signed up to take part in five races, including the Tour de France. The 37-year-old Armstrong said he has committed only for next year, but he wouldn't rule out competing beyond 2009.
Armstrong's also adding a new member to his team: anti-doping expert Don Catlin, who will run a program to regularly test Armstrong.