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O'Neill leaving Health Net for BMC

Nathan O'Neill (Health Net)

Nathan O'Neill (Health Net) (Image credit: Kurt Jambretz)

By Mark Zalewski

The eight-time Australian time trial champion Nathan O'Neill confirmed to Cyclingnews on Sunday that he has signed with the BMC team for 2008, just after winning the Tour of Elk Grove overall with a blistering opening prologue. This comes with the news that Tony Cruz will be riding for the second-year team as well.

The addition of O'Neill should vastly improve the general classification and time trial potential of the team, which has failed to make much in the way of appearances on the steps of major US podiums this year. O'Neill has netted multiple titles this year, including the Tour of the Gila and a repeat at the Mt. Hood Classic. He also rode strong on the tough Brasstown Bald stage at this year's Tour de Georgia, finishing fourth.

Not having the fire power of a team like Health Net-Maxxis will make his leadership role more difficult, but the Aussie, who makes his home in Georgia, seemed excited about the new prospects for 2008. And if he keeps his winning time trials like he has this year, the prospects for his new team should be exciting too.

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