Having won the Tour de Langkawi at the start of 2006, South African Time Trial Champion David George is aiming to translate that kind of form into European success in 2007. Last year he hit top condition very early on in a bid to secure a contract; this time round, he's hoping to find a new team early on and structure things very differently. George explains the approach he feels can pay off to Cyclingnews'Shane Stokes.
This is a period of change for South African rider David George. On Saturday he married his fiancée, Michelle Carstens, exchanging single life for that of a newlywed. At the same time he's seeking another type of commitment, the 30-year-old is currently looking for a new professional team to race with in 2007.
George had some good results this season, including victory in the Tour de Langkawi, second in the Giro del Capo, a win in the South African Time Trial Championships and third in the national road champs. He had been left without a contract by the Barloworld team at the end of '05, but that strong run of early form captured the interest of Spanish squad Relax, who signed him on a one year contract in March.
He celebrated the good news by taking second in the Commonwealth Games Road Race, then travelled to Europe to get kitted out in the colours of the Continental Professional squad. Starting with a new team at such a late point in the season made things a little more difficult than they would otherwise have been, but he settled in and rode strongly in the Tour of Burgos in August, finishing fifth in the time trial and 11th overall.
When he spoke to Cyclingnews back in March, George said that a good ride in the Vuelta was his main aim for the rest of the season. However he fell sick just before the race, requiring a course of antibiotics and suffering a drop in form as a result. After finishing the Grand Tour in 70th, George went on to perform respectably at the World Championships.
"I was hoping to go little bit better in the Vuelta. Sometimes things need to work out better than they did," George told Cyclingnews. "As for the worlds, I was reasonably happy with that. I'd just finished a Grand Tour for the first time and I wasn't quite sure how I was going to come out of it, especially with the Worlds being just a few days later.
To read the full interview, click here.