Jono and Michael Rogers




Cyclist Rogers puts faith in youth
Article from: Herald-Sun

Ron Reed

June 27, 2007 12:00am

IN EVERY way, Michael Rogers is an antidote for the battered image of
professional road cycling - and now Australia's best young riders will
benefit from that.

Rogers, 27, has convinced his German professional team T-Mobile to
sponsor a development program for Cycling Australia and the Australian
Institute of Sport.

The move, announced yesterday, comes as T-Mobile tries to repair the
enormous damage to its reputation after recent doping confessions.

Cycling sources said the team's American boss Bob Stapleton had agreed
to get involved with an Australian program because he admired the morals
and ethics of the sport in this country.

Stapleton announced weeks ago that Rogers would captain T-Mobile in the
Tour de France, which starts on Saturday week, because he was a role
model at a time when the sport needed to clean up its act.

And after finishing 10th last year, the triple world champion
time-triallist was considered an authentic chance to become the first
Australian to finish in the top three, if not win.

Although he missed last week's Tour of Switzerland with a knee problem,
he told the team's website this week he was confident of being fit for
the three-week marathon.

The T-Mobile Australian Future Generation road-cycling development
program is designed to help riders bridge the gap between juniors and
under-23 competition.

The first to benefit will be an under-19 team of five, including
Victorians Lachlan Stewart and Jono Lovelock, both 17, who leave on
Friday for the junior world championships in Mexico in August, via a
month-long training camp at Cycling Australia's high-performance base in
northern Italy.

Their coach, Victorian Institute of Sport mentor Dave Sanders, said
yesterday: "Just to be associated with Michael Rogers is fantastic news,

"He epitomises everything that is good about Australian cycling - a
terrific guy and, as an athlete, second to none.

"For T-Mobile to do this shows a lot of respect. It could develop into
something big in time to come."

Rogers, who lives near the Italian base camp and often trains with the
riders there, is a product of the AIS program and has been looking for a
way to give something back.

He approached Stapleton, who is president of High Roads Sports Inc,
which owns T-Mobile, and got the nod.

"I am very excited. We wanted to support a project of similar
characteristics to the environment in which I grew up," Rogers said.

"Luckily we didn't have to look too far as the Cycling Australia-AIS
program is still working as hard as ever, and it's just great to be able
to give something back."

Stapleton said the Australians were "among the world leaders in
identifying and growing young athletes in a professional and supportive

"Our experience with their alumni athletes has been excellent," he said.

Several star riders, including 1996 Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis
and star sprinter Erik Zabel, recently admitted to using
performance-enhancing substances while they rode for the team, then
known as Telekom, in the 1990s.

German rider Jan Ullrich, winner of the Tour the year after Riis and the
road race gold medallist at the Sydney Olympics, left the team last year
after being implicated in the blood-doping scandal uncovered by Spanish

However Stapleton has overhauled the team since taking it over,
introducing a strict anti-doping program.

Telekom will fund travel, accommodation, sports science and cultural and
language education for the Australian program, which has its own
under-23 professional team,
DaveB wrote:
> Jono L wrote:
>> And some light humour from everyones favourite spitting lama
>> Suffice to say (in Big Kev fashion) "I'm excited":) :) :)

> You're obviously using way too much sunscreen on your face :)

More like not enough everywhere else!

Congratulations Jono - good to see all the hard work is paying dividends.

All the best for the worlds.

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