Roulston leaves Discovery

Team Discovery Channel has announced on Thursday that it has released Haydon Roulston from his contract with the team for 2006, at the rider's request. Roulston personally made the request of team manager Johan Bruyneel only weeks before the team's annual December training camp in Austin, Texas. There was no reason given for his action.

The New Zealander missed much of the 2005 season, his first with the team, due to illness and injuries. However, in a recent Cyclingnews interview, he said that he felt comfortable within the American team and was looking forward to the 2006 season. "I'm going to be riding all the major classics. I've got pretty high expectations for myself this coming year," Roulston said.

"Although it was me who asked to leave the team, it was still a very hard and emotional decision to make," Roulston was quoted on the team's website. "The team has been nothing but supportive through this very difficult year and I thank them for that." Team manager Bruyneel added, "I respect Hayden's honesty and appreciate him reaching out to me. We all wish him the best."

Roulston recently made non-sporting headlines when he was involved in a fight in his hometown of Timaru, New Zealand, and was fined after being found guilty in court. He publicly apologized and Discovery announced at that time its continued support for him.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

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