Aussie Cantwell aims for US deal

By Greg Johnson

Former Australian Institute of Sport rider Jonathan Cantwell is believed to be close to signing a deal with a US-based continental team for 2007. "The goal is America in 2007," Cantwell told the Gold Coast Bulletin. "If I can achieve that then a start in the Tour de France is a distinct possibility."

The Queenslander returned to Australia for a relatively quiet season this year after spending the previous two seasons competing in Europe. "I am still young and still have the desire to race professionally," he explained. "While I raced in Europe it had 21 top-10 finishes in 2004 and 15 top-10s in 2005. I raced in the world titles in France in 2000."

Cantwell, who finished fourth in this year's Noosa International Criterium, will take part in this weekend's Darren Smith Cycle Classic at Tweed Heads on the New South Wales and Queensland border. He hopes a victory in the field led by Robbie McEwen will be the vital ingredient needed to restart his international career. "This would look great on your resume," added Cantwell. "To win a race with the likes of Robbie McEwen in the field would be fantastic. This is not just a club race. It's a tough circuit and a lot of quality riders."

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