Up and coming Australian talent Jack Bobridge will start training soon for 2010 and will make his debut with the Garmin-Slipstream team early next year. He told Cyclingnews this week that he will meet with management soon to work out his schedule.
"I know I will be racing the Tour Down Under with Garmin as my first race with them," he said, happy with the thought of returning to Australia's ProTour event again. "As for the races after that, I will have to sit down with Matt White after the Herald Sun Tour to work out the schedule for the rest of the season."
Bobridge is recognised as one of the most promising young riders on the road, but also has a strong track background. Fourth in the team pursuit at the 2008 Olympic Games, he got silver medals in both the individual and team pursuit earlier this year at the track world championships. He said that it's important for him that Garmin-Slipstream will allow him to have targets on the road and in the velodrome.
"I don't have to give up my track programme," he said. "They are going to really work with me on that right through to London. They are going to back me 100 percent on the track and on the road. Because of that, I think my programme with them is going to fit in perfectly with what I have to do on the track up until London.
"It is going to be really good. I am going to head over to them after the track worlds in March. Matt White is going to give me an awesome race programme and some good training, which is going to help me in both areas. Good racing will obviously help me on the road but it will also help me in the training for the track."
Bobridge won the Under-23 world time trial championships last month and undoubtedly has the engine to continue taking major awards. The Olympic Games in London are a big target but, like many other endurance track riders, he's concerned at the strong rumours that some key events such as the individual pursuit are going to be cut from the programme.
The decision has been taken to juggle the track programme as the IOC has said that some men's events need to go in order to make room for more women's races.
"I'm obviously not backing it!" he said, when asked how he felt about the changes. "It is pretty disappointing, really. It is disappointing for myself in the respect that my event, the individual pursuit, has been taken out. Winning the team pursuit is absolutely awesome, I wouldn't take that away at all as you have the chance to succeed with some of your best mates, guys that you have trained with for four years. But to win that individual gold medal at the Olympics is just special as well."
Final confirmation about which races will go will be made later this year. Rumours are persistent that the individual pursuit, madison and points races are all in line to be dropped, though. But whatever happens, he pledges to remain ambitious on the track.
"It is a bit disappointing but if it happens, we are going to have to work around it," he says, somewhat pragmatically. "The rainbow jersey is still there to be won, so that is where I am going to have to target that event [the individual pursuit]. We'll also target whatever we are shooting for in London."
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