Cyclingheroes: Who had the idea to found an Australian team which will be competative
at the 2009 Tour de France?
Dr. Paul Varcoe: The original idea came as a result of discussions between Robbie
McEwen and Tony Smith [the founder of the Roamfree Group] at a BBQ on the Gold Coast in January 2006.
Cyclingheroes: Tour organizer ASO said they are no longer
part of the UCI Pro-Tour. Are there negotiations to make sure your team will get an invitation for the 2009 edition of the
Tour de France?
Dr. Paul Varcoe: Too early to negotiate but I am confident
with the riders we will have the ASO will want the team to compete in the 2009 TDF.
Cyclingheroes: Can you tell us something about the financial
structure of the team?
Dr. Paul Varcoe: Not until it has been fully funded.
Cyclingheroes: We know that you are not allowed to announce
any signings until September 2008. Still, can you tell us if there are prominent Australian riders who will sign with the
Dr. Paul Varcoe: All Australian riders have been contacted
either directly or through their managers and all have expressed a desire to be part of the team.
Cyclingheroes: Shayne Bannan has been appointed team manager
for the team. Can you introduce him to our readers?
Dr. Paul Varcoe: Shayne is the current Australian Head
Cycling Coach and has held that position for many years. He has taken Australian teams to several Olympics, Commonwealth Games
and World Championships. There is no better person to have involved with the team.
Cyclingheroes: Pro cycling had another difficult year
in Europe. Did that make it more difficult to found a new Australian team?
Dr. Paul Varcoe: The problems in Europe have made sponsors
wary but we are now seeing a new confidence that the sport has had the clean up it had to have. All stakeholders are moving
in the same very coordinated aggressive anti-doping direction.
Cyclingheroes: Team High Road signed with the ACE anti-doping
programme, what will your team do in the fight against doping?
Dr. Paul Varcoe: I can assure you we will be best practice.
Cyclingheroes: Is there a big difference between pro-cycling
in Australia and Europe?
Dr. Paul Varcoe: Yes - on all levels!
Cyclingheroes: Did the successes of Robbie McEwen, Cadel
Evans and others help Australian cycling to grow?
Dr. Paul Varcoe: Of course – cycling has a momentum
now that has not been seen before.
Mister Varcoe we wish you all the best with building up
the team and hope to meet the team at the 2009 Tour de France.
More information: http://www.procyclingaustralia.com.au/