January 09, 2007
Dean goes for New Zealand title
Credit Agricole's Julian Dean is looking to take the year's first national champion's jersey Satruday in Upper Hutt, New Zealand. Meanwhile, Hayden Roulston, formerly of Discovery and Cofidis, who has apparently beaten a heart condition and returned to competition, will try to repeat as New Zealand champion.
Update: Looks like the TdFblog curse strikes again. As I head to bed, it appears Roulston has had a training accident, has been hospitalized, and is likely to miss Saturday's road race as well as the Tour Down Under, kicking off next week.
Dean, New Zealand's most successful pro cyclist, has always missed the country's championship race, which switches from November to January this year.
"Always in the past, I was never in the country for it as an amateur and as a professional, it was always held at the end of the season, like in November, and I've never been able to do it because you're so tired at the end of a pro season," said Dean who turned professional 10 years ago.
If Dean wins the jersey, he'll be able to wear a black and white New Zealand national champion's jersey throughout the Euro season. Dean faces competition from another ProTour Kiwi, Tim Gudsell (who has joined FDJeux this season), as well as
Roulston and a crop of local riders.
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