American Jason McCartney's career could have been in trouble this year. After his Discovery Channel team announced it would disband at the end of the year, he was one of many riders sent scrambling for a new contract. However, a timely career first Grand Tour stage win in September's Vuelta a España got the phones ringing. He was courted by Team Slipstream before signing a contract with Team CSC.
The former US National Champion was signed to the Discovery Channel after a gutsy ride in the Tour de Georgia in 2004 earned him the win in stage four and the overall victory in the mountains classification. However, years of domestique duties for Discovery hadn't produced the kind of palmares that bring in stacks of job offers, and a virus that hit McCartney at this year's Tour de Georgia hampered his season after he'd gotten a promising start with third overall in the Tour of California.
His Vuelta stage win was all he needed to be guaranteed a full season of racing overseas. "Discovery Channel gave me the opportunity in 2005 and I love to race in Europe so I was very happy. But this is my first time with a professional European team – and not just any old team either! I just got the call the other day about the first training camp so I'm pretty excited about that right now," said McCartney on the team's website, www.team-csc.com.
"I'm looking forward to being a part of Team CSC. I'm impressed with the way things are done on the team - the team work and the aggressive racing style really appeal to me, so I think I'll fit in well. Of course I'm always ready to make an effort for the team, but it seems like you often get the chance to do your own thing as well with Team CSC – if you've got the strength for it, that is," continued McCartney, who discussed the team with fellow Americans Bobby Julich and Christian Vande Velde as well as German Jens Voigt prior to joining the Danish team.
The 34 year-old is ready to forge new goals for the upcoming season. "On Discovery Channel I had a specific role and I knew what to expect every year, so it'll be exciting to see what's next for me now that I've switched. I'm considering it at the moment and I think maybe I'll have a more complete picture in my head after the first training camp," concludes McCartney.