Reigning Australian Criterium Champion Jonathan Cantwell is still on the lookout for a new team for the 2012 season after several of his options "fell over in front of his eyes".
Cantwell has been riding with V Australia since 2009, is off contract at the end of this year and had been hopeful of a return to racing in Europe following his haul of close to 90 race wins over the past three seasons.
"I've been looking elsewhere for a little while now, but it's proving very difficult with teams collapsing all over the place," he told Cyclingnews. "This year I only raced about 60 per cent of what I did last year so there were limited opportunities to show myself."
After winning the Australian criterium championships in January, Cantwell claimed V Australia’s first win of the season at the Sunny King Criterium in April. Another victory followed in the opening stage of Tulsa Tough, a stage of the Tour of America's Dairyland, and then Cantwell went one-two with teammate Ben Kersten at Boise Twilight Criterium before heading back to Australia for the National Road Series via China.
After plenty of occasions on the top step of the podium, Cantwell had hoped to get an opportunity with GreenEdge which appears set to join the ProTour next season, all going to plan, but there was no spot in the squad of 30 available. Cantwell courted interest from another WorldTour team, but that too fell through leaving the Queenslander questioning his next move.
"The worst thing is that I feel like I can't do anything about it," he explained. "You tick every box and it's totally out of your hands. It's very difficult. I've had a fruitful cycling career thus far, but I've still got another six, seven years left in me."
At age 29, Cantwell said that he feels he's starting to really come into his own and most recently claimed a top five result on the second stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. This weekend, he will line up among a typically hot field at the Noosa Grand Prix. He is hoping that the right result will eventuate in a change of fortune.
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