By Jean-François Quénet in Varese, Italy
Bradley McGee will make his final race appearance at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour from October 12 to 18. The 32 year-old Australian will call his racing career quits, but he will remain in cycling in a role of sports director for the team for which he currently rides, Team CSC-Saxo Bank, which will be renamed Saxo Bank for the next season. He'll replace his compatriot Scott Sunderland who has moved to the new Cervélo Test team.
A Junior World Champion and world record holder for individual pursuit, the Sydneysider built his fame as a track rider and collected his first Olympic medal in Atlanta in 1996 - a bronze in individual pursuit - a performance he repeated four years later at home despite breaking a collarbone 17 days earlier. He claimed Olympic gold in the team pursuit in Athens in 2004. Australia's fourth place in Beijing meant the first Games without a medal for McGee who didn't reach his full competitiveness after another bad crash and another broken collarbone in stage 3 of the Tour of Italy this year.
Under the colours of Française des Jeux, the team he joined in 1998, McGee won the prologues of the three Grand Tours (France in 2003, Italy in 2004, Spain in 2005). As much as helping his young compatriots to turn professional, among which are Baden Cooke, Mark Renshaw and Chris Sutton, he'll be remembered for his strong position against drugs in sport. He'll take part in one last race in Europe, the Circuit Franco-Belge next week before stepping into his new role.