Jonathan Cantwell psyched with Saxo Bank SunGard contract for 2012
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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Jonathan Cantwell psyched with Saxo Bank SunGard contract for 2012

by VeloNation Press at 9:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Big break for Australian sprinter

Jonathan CantwellOne year after being disappointed with the collapse of the Pegasus team and its goal of becoming a ProTeam squad, Jonathan Cantwell is set to finally race in the very top level of the sport after signing with the Saxo Bank SunGard team for 2012.

The Australian sprinter has been with the Fly V Australia for the past three seasons, clocking up 37 wins in 2009 and 2010 and then posting more strong results this year. His performances included five top ten finishes in the Tour of China, three of which were in the top three, fifth and ninth on stages of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and third on a stage plus tenth overall in the Tour of Elk Grove.

According to Saxo Bank SunGard team owner Bjarne Riis, it’s now time for the 29 year old to be given a chance to show what he can do.

“Jonathan has won many races in the past four years whilst riding in Australia and the States and has shown he is a winner,” he said. “I feel he now deserves a shot at the very top level. He is a hard working person and a tough guy, and I believe he can further lift his level.”

Cantwell is predictably psyched with the news, which will give him strong motivation to build for 2012. “To get a spot on Saxo Bank-SunGard is pretty much a dream come true for me,” he said. “If I could choose a team myself, it would be this team, so I couldn't be happier. I'm really looking forward to get onboard.”

His speed means that Riis has a logical expectation of where he will shine. “I see Jonathan as an asset for us in the stage races, when it comes to helping out J.J. Haedo in the sprints, or going for a win himself,” he said.

Cantwell will of course hope to have the chance to shine in some big races, but said that he is there primarily to do what he is asked and to build his experience. “My personal objective is to be a strong lead out for J.J. Haedo and just learn from Bjarne Riis, his group of sport directors and my new team mates,” he said.

“I'm 29 years old, and I have been waiting for this opportunity, so I definitely want to show my face too. Number one is to do the job, the team asks from me, and secondly, if I'm told that "this is your chance", then I want to take it with both hands and go for a win.”

The team is yet to confirm when he will make his debut with the squad. However being Australian, it may decide to start him off in the Santos Tour Down Under next January. Many of the stages tend to finish in sprints and so his attributes would see him being a valuable asset to the team.

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