Underdone kemps is hopeful

CYCLING: Two years ago Bundaberg cyclist Aaron Kemps picked up three stage wins in Melbourne's Herald Sun Tour.

On that occasion he came in with form and bulk riding under his belt, amassing more than 80 rides already in the year.

He left Bundaberg yesterday with a meagre 15 races to his credit, a lack of preparation he put down to a poor choice of teams.

“I should never have signed with Rock Racing, they lost their major sponsor Cadillac and had to cancel races we were planned to ride in - they haven't really looked after me very well,” Kemps said from Brisbane airport yesterday.

The sprinter expects to be overshadowed by Cuban team-mate Ivan Dominguez in the speed department during the tour next week, but remains hopeful that he can overcome his lack of race fitness to jag some stage wins.

He said team talks had been at a minimum to date, but assumed he would learn more about his role when he arrived in Melbourne yesterday.

“I've had good training form in Europe lately, so hopefully I can latch on to the breakaways and try for a few stage wins,” he said.

Kemps said the lack of hill climbs would mean a less arduous journey than most, but was wary of the winds that can whip up unexpectedly throughout the ride.

“The stage along the Great Ocean Road is always a bit unpredictable, wind will be a factor there and I think to do well it's important to go well in the time trial on the second-last day,” he said.

The Bundaberg man was hopeful of signing to a rival team within a month, stating he had already had strong interest from a number of organisations - he also ruled out re-joining Rock Racing next season.

“They will probably be even smaller again next season, but there are a few things going on, so pretty soon I hope to have a more concrete idea of who I'll be riding for next year,” he said.

The tour begins with a criterium tomorrow.

- MURRAY WENZEL



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