Lloyd in talks with UCI ProTeams, hopes to race again this year
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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Lloyd in talks with UCI ProTeams, hopes to race again this year

by VeloNation Press at 7:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Australian climber determined to return after Omega Pharma Lotto dismissal

Matthew LloydFollowing his earlier split with the Omega Pharma Lotto team, Australian climber Matthew Lloyd is hopeful that he might be able to return to racing with another team before the end of this season.

The 2010 Giro d’Italia King of the Mountains has had a season to forget thus far. He was sidelined twice due to injury, and then once again when the Belgian team sacked him in April.

Since when he’s been working hard on getting back into full condition, getting ongoing treatment on the shoulder he fractured in a crash in December, and also logging big kilometres.

“If I do get the opportunity to race and to have all the things in place for the second half of this year, then I can’t see a reason why it can’t happen,” he told SBS’ Cycling Central. “But then again, that’s pending on the circumstances with different teams and how they want to progress and continue throughout the season, and potentially over the next couple of years.”

Ideally, Lloyd would like to return to racing for the Vuelta a España. If that proves not to be possible, end of season Classics such as the Giro di Lombardia are also worth aiming for, and could suit his climbing abilities. Right now, he’s just got to keep training hard and wait and see what happens with the teams he has been speaking too.

“Most of them are saying all the information you’ve given us is in the right place and we know through not just your testing, but also through past performances that you know what you’re doing,” he said. “There’s no hesitancy to get involved and make things happen. It just depends on their logistical side and also the future of their teams, which often comes together through the Tour de France.”

One complication for Lloyd is that the UCI’s hierarchy of teams for 2012 will be calculated on the points riders amass this season. He’s already missed out on half a year’s worth of opportunity to chase results; in addition to that, the new rule may make it less likely for a team to sign him if he is only going to end up racing there until the end of 2011.

While the results he would gain would all be done in the team’s colours, the points would only be used in determining where they stand if he was to stay there until next season.

He’s been rumoured to be heading to the new Australian GreenEdge setup. It is aiming to be Australia’s first ProTeam squad, and plans to ride the 2012 Tour de France.

Lloyd would be a strong fit, given his abilities, and the fact that the team wants to contend for major stage race titles. His past results include a stage win and that King of the Mountains title in the 2010 Giro, as well as the 2008 Australian road title and fourth overall in the previous year’s Tour Down Under.

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