Nearing the completion of his first year riding for a WorldTour team, Jonathan Cantwell is pleased that all his hard work has paid off. Having raced almost 80 days so far, including being part of his team's Tour de France line-up, he was given a one-year contract renewal with the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank squad for the 2013 season.
Cantwell is not your usual ‘neo-professional’, as he kept reminding those around him including his teammates. Everything has been new in 2012, every race has brought fresh challenges but it’s something the 30-year-old Australian is excited about continuing in 2013, albeit with added confidence and experience on board.
"To come in at 30, it’s such a learning curve. Every race I’ve done has been new to me. The positive thing coming into 2013 is that I know I can do it and the team has the confidence that I can ride at the WorldTour level," Cantwell told Cyclingnews.
"To come into races next year and to know where I made mistakes as a sprinter during this year means I’m heading into next season knowing how to rectify those errors and improve my results. Next year is going to be awesome."
Cantwell has maintained his condition throughout the year and while he’s completed a solid schedule the motivation is still high. Cantwell was ready to finish the season on a high note in his upcoming events like Binche-Tournai-Binche, Paris-Tours and Japan Cup before heading back to Australia.
"I’m super motivated at the moment which is really important for the end of the season, the form is there and the team is super strong. I’m not an expert on the cobbles just yet so Binche will be tough but I think I could go well," he said.
"Paris-Tours will be a long day but the distance won’t be a problem. Robbie [McEwen] has won it a few times so that gives me confidence knowing a fellow Gold Coast sprinter can it."
"I was quietly confident that I would re-sign after showing myself at the Tour and doing my job really well. That put confidence in the team and while it was a bit of a waiting game, because I don’t have any WorldTour points, I knew the directors were happy with me. After the Pegasus fiasco I was a bit like ‘what if I don’t have a job next year?’. But yeah, I wanted to stay with the team and I’m really happy," Cantwell told Cyclingnews.