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Aaron Kemps (Fly V Australia) gets his breath back after taking a stage victory.
Australian keen to get back to European racing
Experienced Australian rider Aaron Kemps will spend another year riding for the Fly V team in the US and Asia following the demise of the Pegasus Sports program which had ProConti aspirations and could have seen him riding in Europe this season.
Those same aspirations had prompted the former Astana rider and 2010 Australian criterium champion to sign for Chris White's outfit, although when the milk went sour during January, he was facing the prospect of unemployment and retiring from the sport.
"If I didn't get this ride, I would have had to hang up the bike because we have a 16-week-old child and he's got to be fed," Kemps told Cyclingnews from his home in Queensland, Australia.
"I'll be riding with the Fly V team again this year and we hope to race in America and Asia; it was either this or nothing. You'd maybe get a start if you were willing to race for nothing but trying to find a job in January is different to September."
Kemps won seven races last season, including three stages of the Tour of China, and he hopes to repeat those kind of performances with a racing programme that allows him to demonstrate his strengths.
"I was speaking to [directeur sportif] Henk [Vogels] recently about race programmes and he said he was behind where he'd normally be at this time of year but he's working on getting to plenty of races," Kemps said.
"We're also trying to get starts in the Tour of Taiwan, the Tour of Qinghai Lake and the Tour of Japan," he added.
Among the Asian events the team could ride are the aforementioned trio of races, plus the Tours of China and Hainan, where the squad enjoyed success last year, in addition to the Singapore Professional Criterium, where Ben Kersten, Jonathan Cantwell and young gun Scott Law will compete.
And speaking of Cantwell, Kemps said his fellow Queenslander was also in a frustrating situation, having received offers to ride for teams before the advent of the Pegasus Sports program, although the downfall of Chris White's project meant that he too missed out on the prospect of European racing.
It means the likes of Cantwell and Kemps will be back at events such as the San Dimas Stage Race, the Redlands Bicycle Classic and possibly the Tour of the Gila, with Vogels attempting to get the team a start in the Philadephia Classic, the Tour of Utah and the Quiznos Challenge.
If all goes well Kemps hopes to find himself again racing in Europe; he explained that he originally planned to spend a 'stepping stone' season with Fly V in the US before heading back to the Continent. That plan has now taken a year's delay, although he remains focused on his ultimate goal.
"I'll let my legs do the talking," he said.