2006 proved you can take Stuart O'Grady away from the fight, but you can't take the fight out of Stuart O'Grady. At 33 years old, though, what's he fighting for? Story by Anthony Tan.
"What do I want to get out of it?" he asks, repeating my question as we share a taxi ride en route to Sydney airport on a fine November day. "I just want to win Classics. That's it."
As soon as Stuart O'Grady signed the dotted line for Team CSC at the end of October last year, he knew he was sacrificing sprint stages and the green jersey at the Tour de France, at one point his sole cycling obsession. "But it obviously didn't bother me. I was really excited by the new challenge," he says.
Another challenge began a few weeks before then, however, when he discovered the team he previously signed for this season, Sony-Ericsson, was not a team at all. Team manager Giancarlo Ferretti was conned into thinking he'd lined up a major global sponsor, and Gilberto Simoni, Matt White, Salvatore Commesso and Cristian Moreni among others went scrambling for jobs. Most found new homes, but were snapped up at bargain basement prices.
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