Cantwell can't wait for national championships

Australian revelation hopes to take a jersey in January

After a breakthough year during which he took 29 wins, Fly V Australia rider Jonathan Cantwell is anticipating the chance to take the biggest victory of his career thus far - a national championship.

The 27-year-old Queenslander will head into the criterium at the Scody Australian Open Road Cycling Championships in Ballarat on Jaunary 7 as one of the favourites and he's got the attitude to back up the tag.

"I am really motivated to win the Australian Criterium Championship," said Cantwell. "I am definitely going up to Ballarat to win - I'm in pretty good form at the moment."

Cantwell will celebrate his 28th birthday the following day, the national champion's jersey a fitting present for the man who has become one of Australia's shining stars in races throughout the US and his home nation.

His Australian victories include outright victory in the Scody Cup and a total of seven stage wins in the Tours of Geelong, Murray River and Tasmania.

He was the overall winner of the Murray River tour and capped his season with a third place behind Tour de France star Bradley Wiggins in the Herald Sun Tour, also winning the sprint championship and the final stage.

"Maybe I can organise myself an early birthday present. I've checked out the course and it suits me," he added. "The boys are super-keen and we should be in the form of our lives."

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