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At this time of the year the media is reporting all the rider transfers, team sponsors, new kit design, and the 2011 hype in general. What isn’t being reported are the stories of all the riders left in without a contract in late December. This is the other side of being a professional cyclist; the stress of being jobless at this point of the season while most team rosters are filled. A situation like this could end a rider’s career.
Most of you in Australia will know David Kemp. Kempy has been a professional cyclist for as long as I’ve known him and I’ve always looked up to him in that regard. I’ve seen Kempy do some increadible things on the bike and have had the pleasure to race with and against him. Well, that’s not really true. He’s always been a massive leap above of me and I don’t kid myself that we were competing in the same race. This does however give me a very good appreciation of how good Kempy actually is.
Unfortunately David Kemp’s contract with Pegasus didn’t come through as planned. I was baffled when he told me that and even more shocked at his positive attitude towards his situation at this 11th hour. He’s been with Fly V (owned by Pegasus) from the day they started and has been instrumental to their success. I just thought it would be a given that he’d be riding with them in some capacity in 2011. Unfortunately not.
I always keep an eye on Kempy’s race results when he’s overseas to see how he’s going. We all love looking through race results but unfortunately they tell us absolutely nothing. They don’t tell the story of how Kempy rode two Omega-Pharma-Lotto ProTour riders off his wheel in a breakaway at the Tour Down Under. They don’t tell the story about how riders like Kempy selflessly sacrifice themselves to help bring back the breaks or split the field so his teammates can go for the win. That’s what Kempy is paid to do and doesn’t deviate from that. Every time I’ve seen him race I’ve witnessed the full story. He’s a workhorse for the sprinters (Jonathan Cantwell, Aaron Kemps, Ben Kirsten) all in the name of getting the team a good result.
The few times in 2011 he was let off the leash and given free reign to get a result, he’s pulled through. He came 2nd at the Australian National Championships behind Travis Meyer on a 40C day. This earned him a position on the uniSA Australian National Team for the Tour Down Under in 2010. I was jumping out of my skin watching Kempy tear it up at the TdU earning the most aggressive rider on stage 2 and finishing 3rd overall in the KOM classification. How can a rider like this be left without a contract?
Photo Leigh Schilling
David Kemp is one of the many riders not being talked about in the hype leading up to 2011. He’s out there training every single day gunning for the Australian National Championships determined to get a good result and get noticed. Results are the lifeline to a pro cyclist and unfortunately being a team workhorse sometimes doesn’t pan out the way you’d expect.
I try and not use this platform as a soap box, but in this case, yes – I’m blatantly putting David Kemps profile out there in hope that someone reading will see that he’s looking for a team in 2011 and know of an opportunity. I don’t want to see his promising career as a professional cyclists end prematurely. He’s just too damn talented to be racing the local crits in Melbourne next season.
If you feel the same way as I do, don’t be shy to Tweet it or share it on Facebook to spread the word.
David Kemp – Career Highlights
1st Tour of Taihu Lake China, UCI 1.2
Member of the UniSA Aus National Team at the Tour Down Under
Most aggressive rider stage 2 Tour Down Under
3rd overall King of the Mountain Classification – Tour Down Under
2nd Redlands Classic, USA
3rd Lake Front Classic,USA
2nd Stage 2 – Tour of Gippsland
2nd Stage 6 – Tour of Gippsland
2nd overall – Tour of Gippsland
2nd overall Tour of Geelong
2nd Stage 1 Tour de Murrieta USA
3rd Boulevard Road Race USA
3rd Stage 2 Tour of Geelong
3rd Stage 4 Tour of Geelong (VIC ITT Champs)
3rd Stage 5 Tour of Atlanta USA
7th overall Tour de Murrieta USA
1st Stage 1 – Tour of the Murray River
1st Stage 2 – Tour of the Murray River
1st Stage 3 – Tour of Gippsland
1st Victorian Criterium Championships
2nd Overall Tour of the Murray River
2nd Metropolitan Championships Victoria
2nd stage 1 – Tour of Perth (National Road Series Australia)
2nd Stage 2 – Tour of Mersey Valley (National Road Series Australia)
3rd Overall – Tour of Perth (National Road Series Australia)
3rd Overall – Tour of Mersey Valley (National Road Series Australia)
3rd ITT – Tour of Mersey Valley (National Road Series Australia)
4th ITT – Tour of Perth (National Road Series Australia)
4th stage 3 – Tour of Mersey Valley (National Road Series Australia)
1st Stage 2 Tour Des Pyrenees (UCI 2.2 France)
1st Stage 8 Tour of the Murray (National Road Series Australia)
1st Sprint Classification, Ouest Provence (France)
1st King of the Mountain, Bourg-Arbent-Boug (France)
2nd Stage 3 Tour de Cote D’Or (France)
3rd Bourg-Arbent-Bourg (France)
4th Dijon-Auxonne (France)
4th Ouest Provence (France)
6th overall Tour of the Murray (National Road Series Australia)
1st Australian Grand Prix Road Race Ballarat
1st GP St Etienne les Remiremont (France)
1st GP Verjon (France)
1st KOM Classique Ain-Jura (France)
1st Midlands Tour (Australia)
1st Stage 9 Tour of the Murray River (National Road Series Australia)
2nd Stage 1 Tour of Tasmania (National Road Series Australia)
2nd Stage 4 Tour of Tasmania (National Road Series Australia)
2nd Overall Tour of the Murray River (National Road Series Australia)
2nd Stage 2 Tour of the Murray River (National Road Series Australia)
2nd Classique Ain-Jura (France)
2nd GP Saugeais (France)
3rd Overall Australian National Series
3rd Overall Tattersall’s Cup Series
3rd Stage 8 Tour of Tasmania (National Road Series Australia)
3rd Stage 9 Tour of Tasmania (National Road Series Australia)
3rd Stage 4 Tour of the Murray River (National Road Series Australia)
3rd Australian Grand Prix Criterium (National Road Series Australia)
3rd GP Bourmont (France)
4th Overall Tour of Tasmania (National Road Series Australia)