Jay Thomson relishing opportunity of riding for UnitedHealthcare
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Jay Thomson relishing opportunity of riding for UnitedHealthcare

by Xylon van Eyck at 3:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Says he’ll be happy with the chance to race in Europe and USA

Jay ThomsonSouth African Jay Thomson will move to the UnitedHealthcare professional cycling team next year after two seasons with Fly V Australia and Bissell, racing predominantly on the domestic scene in America. Thomson, who has not had the best season by his standards, will have a shot at European racing even though he is not sure how much at this point, as the Professional Continental team splits its program racing between the United States of America and Europe.

“I think [I’ll be based] more in the US than Europe for next year, but if both I’m happy,” Thomson told VeloNation after the news was released.

“I don’t know my program just yet but whatever it is, I’m up for the pressure to do what I need to do.”

The 25 year old was meant to have his chance at racing bigger events when he signed for the ill-fated Pegasus team. The team lost its financing last December, leaving it very late for staff and riders to find employment. Thomson was snapped up by continental team Bissell in January where he has spent the season racing.

“It’s awesome to be able to step up to Pro Conti,” he said, looking forward to 2012 and the opportunities he will have. “I’m really excited to step up. I really hope this is a relationship that will go on for a long time. This year has gone well in the sense that I’ve learnt a lot about myself. I really think I wasn’t at my best but know that I’ll step up to what us expected of me.”

Along with moving up to a higher licence level this year, UnitedHealthcare has been invited to major stage races such as Volta a Algarve, Giro del Trentino and Tour de Langkawi. Thomson won a stage in the latter last year.

“As we continue to grow this team, we keep looking for selfless riders that have big engines,” said General Manager and Directeur Sportif, Mike Tamayo. “Riders that have the capacity to ride above their own ability and essentially turn themselves inside out. We are pleased to welcome Jay as he is going to be a solid addition to our mentality and our way of racing. He is a big engine and has a lot of power.”

The American team has made its intentions of growth clear by announcing the signings of Jeff Louder from BMC Racing Team, Vuelta a Espana stage winner Philip Deignan and Jason McCartney from Team RadioShack. Accomplished domestic rider Ben Day will also come on board and will look to recreate successes such as repeatedly winning Tour de Beauce, San Dimas and Redlands Bicycle Classic.


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