Bundaberg’s Aaron Kemps, then riding for the Astana team, leads the peloton in Stage 3 of the AMGEN Tour of California last year.
Bundaberg’s Aaron Kemps, then riding for the Astana team, leads the peloton in Stage 3 of the AMGEN Tour of California last year.

Kemps plays the waiting game

THESE are nervous times for Bundaberg’s Aaron Kemps, who is waiting for the call that could determine his cycling future this week.

“It’s like D-Day. I will basically be told whether these teams are 100 per cent keen to have me on board or not — I’m just waiting to hear the news,” he said.

“The likes of Cadel Evans don’t have to worry about this sort of stuff. But for the rest of us, negotiations happen every year and it’s a pain in the backside.”

Kemps has signalled his intentions of returning to Europe next year and hinted there were deals in the pipeline.

“I have a manager in Belgium, Paul De Gyter, who looks after things overseas, so we’ll make some calls this week and hope for some good news,” he said.

But time is ticking away and he is yet to receive confirmation of a team-switch just yet.

Kemps could not reveal which teams were involved in talks, but confirmed he had severed ties with former employer Rock Racing.

Financial issues meant the team were not able to enter tours as they forecast, leaving Kemps without a berth and considerably underdone last season.

Despite riding in about 60 fewer races than previous years, Kemps was able to put together a string of impressive rides in October’s Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

He hopes prospective teams sat up and took notice.

“I think that would have helped for sure. Having only 18 races under my belt I wasn’t too sure how I’d go, but I was consistently top 10 and felt really good,” he said of his eighth place overall.

Since then he has enjoyed some time off, and only recently has returned to the saddle.

Kemps won a local criterium on the weekend, and has been riding at the Bundaberg Velodrome on Wednesday nights.

“They are my intense sessions, but a bit of fun as well,” he said.

The weekend win may have come at a cost, however. Kemps has picked up tonsillitis and has been relegated to bed this week.

“The throat’s no good at the moment and I’m not feeling too flash, but hopefully I’ll be over it by the end of the week, or even back at the velodrome on Wednesday night,” he said.

Meanwhile, fellow pro rider Scott Davis has just returned to Bundaberg and started training, while brother Allan Davis will get home on December 1.



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