Central Leader : December 8th 2010
www.centralleader.co.nz Wednesday, December 8, 2010 Cycle star: Mt Eden resident Roman van Uden claimed his first major road cycling victory last week, winning the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge. Photo: JASON OXENHAM Sharing his winnings By SCOTT MORGAN WINNING the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge might have thrust road cyclist Roman van Uden into the spotlight, but he puts the victory down to a team effort. The Mt Eden resident is part of the eight-man Pure Black cycling team that took on big name Kiwi opposition including Julian Dean, Gordon McCauley and Jeremy Yates during the 160km race. Just having them there made a huge difference. We knew as a team we could do well. About 300 metres out I started celebrating. I didn t knowwhattodo soIjustputmy hands in the air. Roman split the $5000 prize money with the seven other riders after winning the race. The team is going to the United States to race for six months on the pro circuit there. The long-term goal is to get to the Tour de France in five years. The 22-year-old has already encountered seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong while riding in New Mexico last year on the Tour of Gila. I won a stage there in my first pro race. Afterwards Lance said, Well done , Roman says. I asked him if he d thanked the team manager after all the hard work she d done for the Lance Arm- strong Foundation. She just gave me a big hug and I said: Look who I ve brought along . She got a big fright, Roman says. There s plenty about Roman s cyc- ling life that s not so glamorous, like training every day, rain, hail or shine. He would also like to represent New Zealand at the London Olympics in 2012 but has largely forged his own international career. He s working at his dad s drain- age business so he can afford to ride in the United States again next year because he gets no government sup- port. Mybiggoalistobeaproin Europe and live the dream. As a kid I d go to One Tree Hill with my mates and race around there. Pure Black sports director Carl Williams says Roman s form has been impressive this season, includ- ing his unbroken stint in the green jersey on the Tour of Southland last month. The green jersey is given to the best sprinter in the race. But Williams says the team played a crucial part in Roman s success. The individual result is defined by the team. It s the only way we will be competitive -- it s as much of a team sport as anything.
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