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Olympic cycling medallist Sam Bewley will ride alongside seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong next year.
The Rotorua rider, part of BikeNZ’s Beijing team pursuit squad on the track, will ride for Armstrong’s new Radioshack team on a two-year contract.
The 22-year-old will become the fifth BikeNZ rider to compete in the ProTour in Europe next year along with Julian Dean, Greg Henderson, Hayden Roulston and Tim Gudsell.
“It’s incredible news,” Bewley said. “I’ve known that it was on the cards for a few weeks but now it’s been announced I am pretty stoked.
“I am only just beginning to get my head around it. It is a fantastic opportunity to ride in a team with some of the best riders in the world and I am sure to learn so much.
“I am waiting on all of the details so I am not sure where I will be living yet and the training schedule but I know we will be starting with a training camp in Santa Rosa in California in the New Year.”
Bewley has spent this season with the Trek-Livestrong, Armstrong’s development team in the US.
The kiwi opted for a two year contract to keep his options open for a return to the track for the 2012 London Olympics.
“That’s my plan right now. I will be giving this team everything I have but the big goal is London in 2012. There’s unfinished business there. The gold medal is the big aim.”
Bewley is currently in Invercargill in a training camp with the BikeNZ track squad who are working with Australia’s former World and Olympic Madison champion Brett Aitken, former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Glenn Thompson and BikeNZ coaches Tim Carswell and Dayle Cheatley.
“Primarily it has been specific training on the Madison which is probably the track discipline that requires the most skills,” said BikeNZ High Performance Director, Mark Elliott.
“The skills required will have a spin-off for all track cyclists and it’s been of real benefit for the entire squad.”
The squad will compete in the New Zealand Madison Championships at the ILT Velodrome in Invercargill tonight.
The riders and coaches will then take part in a conference over the weekend in Invercargill with BikeNZ coaches providing the latest technical information and team pursuit training protocols.
"The Rotorua rider, part of BiekNZ’s Beijing team" - might want to correct your spelling/typo. Its BikeNZ :)
Thanks Liz, all fixed.