Gates hopes for Tour next year

Davitamon-Lotto rider Nick Gates has had a good season, and has been rewarded for it with his nomination for the Australian national team at the Salzburg World's next week. "It was a bit unexpected," he told the Manning River Times. "I've had a few small wins and some strong performances this season, and I've been consistent and that's always important."

The 34 year-old Gates hadn't been included in the national squad for three years. Moreover, he has good hopes to be racing the Tour de France again next year, a race which he has contested twice already. "I've already been told I'm in the team for the Tour de France next year," he said. "So that's good news."

At the World's in Salzburg, Gates will be supporting teammates Cadel Evans and Robbie McEwen, but isn't ruling out his own chances. "We'll have three leading riders - Robbie and Cadel will be two... while the rest of us will be in there assisting them," he explained. "But if you get a break, well, who knows?"

After the event, Gates will be headed home to Australia for some R and R before gearing up again for the Australian season.

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