David Kemp is the latest Pegasus Sports rider to find a team for 2011. The Australian announced that he signed with Verandas Willems on Christmas Eve. He added that the Belgian team was also looking to add another Pegasus rider.
Kemp signed a one-year contract with the Professional Continental team, and said that he had been in discussions with the team for several months. It will be his first professional experience on a European team. He most recently rode for the Continental-ranked team Fly V Australia.
The spot was not easy to come by, he admitted to SBS.com. “The biggest deal they had was having an Australian rider on their squad, they didn’t think it was to their advantage. I said [to my manager] to try again, I’m really excited and I’d take any opportunity that they’d offer.”
Kemp will open the season at the national road championships (January 6-10). He had hoped to ride the Tour Down Under (January 19-24) on a composite Australian squad, but it clashes with his new team's training camp in Spain January 13-25.
“If I get a spot in Down Under, I’m still not confirmed there, but if I go really well at nationals I might get a spot there which means I might arrive late to the training camp or miss it altogether,’’ he said.
The Australian is looking forward to riding in support at the Belgian Classics. “The opportunity there is to race the races I’ve always wanted to, the real hard men’s races, and see what I can do.”
Later in the season he will look to take his own chances. “It’s pretty structured from what they want from me which is to be a worker in the early classics, which I’m happy to do because they’re the classics that all the Belgian riders are chasing.
“I’ll get my chances in the later classics, the ones in April. They said we’ll give you a lot more freedom there to go with things and see what you’ve got.”