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Roulston's victory a stepping stone back to the European road scene

Roulston at this year's Olympics

Roulston at this year's Olympics (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

After winning the Tour of Southland on Saturday, Hayden Roulston already has his sights set on next year's Grand Tours. Roulston, who raced the New Zealand stage race last week for The Southland Times-Trek team, previously announced his is moving to the new Cervelo Test Team for 2009 under a one-year contract.

He is hoping to make Cervelo's teams for the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France – maybe winning a stage – while he works toward securing his future longer term.

"I'm pretty sure I'll get the results I need. I'm going to shoot for the top because I believe I can do it," he said according to the New Zealand Herald.

Roulston used to race for the Cofidis team and the Discovery Channel Team, but his early professional road career encountered a few speed bumps. He was cut from Discovery Channel for disciplinary reasons and then suffered a potentially fatal heart condition leading to a temporary retirement.

He proved, however, to make a complete recovery and return to the elite ranks by winning several races, and this year, he also won silver in the individual pursuit in Beijing, China, at the Olympic Games. In addition, Roulston was also part of New Zealand's bronze-winning team pursuit squad.

Roulston will take a break from the track in 2009 to concentrate fully on the road with his new team. Yet he promised a return to the boards in 2010 and beyond.

His win Saturday was his third at the Tour of Southland, making him one of only three riders to win three or more times. He joined an elite club including Tino Tabak (1965-67) and Brian Fowler (1985-90, 1992, 1995).

See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Tour of Southland.