Belgian lifeline for Kemp

Davis Kemp riding for the UniSA squad at the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under (AAP)

Victorian David Kemp is set to sign a contract with a Belgian Professional Continental team, he would not name, before Christmas.

David Kemp has been thrown a lifeline after staring down the barrel of unemployment.

The 26-year-old is set to sign a contract with a Belgian Professional Continental team, he would not name, before Christmas.

It’s an early present for Kemp, who found himself out-of-contract in the 11th hour after a deal with Fly V Australia fell through.

Kemp has worked as a domestique for Fly V for three years and this season was based in America with the Continental outfit that won the American national road series.

The Melbourne-based cyclist said he was set to stay on with the team after striking a “verbal contract” with managing director Chris White in August.

Kemp didn’t receive paperwork to confirm the verbal contract but believed the deal was done.

“Basically in cycling that’s a contract,’’ a disconcerted Kemp said.

“If you say yep, it’s all done off word. I was given their word that they wanted me so I told my mangers that I didn’t need (a) team, they were happy I was going to continue on so then I stopped looking.”

Kemp said the verbal contract was not formally revoked but started searching for another employer when he was told by team management in October his results were inconsistent.

“I haven’t got any results because I’ve been riding for our sprinters, who won 90 per cent of the races that I worked for,” he said.

“I actually haven’t spoken to Chris White in regards to this. I try calling him every other day and he doesn’t take the calls so I’m making the assumption that there’s no longer a contract on the table.”

Kemp won silver at the Australian road championships in January and finished third overall in the King of the Mountain classification at the Tour Down Under this year.

He concluded his season with a win at China’s Tour of Lake Taihu in late October. All achievements he considers results.

“They want us to sacrifice ourselves, which is your job, and I have got no dramas doing that.

I’ll sacrifice myself for anyone of our guys who says, yep I’m on today. I’ll make sure that they win it, or give them every chance and subsequently sacrifice my chance of winning,’’ he said.

“That was the level of trust that we had built up in our team and that’s what they wanted, but they also said we’d be rewarded if we did that and I haven’t been rewarded.”

Kemp was disappointed when he was not offered, unlike some of his Fly V teammates, a place in the affiliated Pegasus Racing team, which is awaiting confirmation of Pro Continental status.

“I think what I did this year was warrant enough to move to Europe and race there, clearly because I wouldn’t have got this contract with this (Belgian) team,’’ he said.

“I’m in an even better situation than what I was before even if I got a Pegasus contract. I believe everything happens for a reason. I didn’t know what the reason was but now I can see it was for this.”

Kemp has been given a tentative race program that includes the spring classics.

He began training specifically for the national road championships on the weekend and hopes to compete at next month’s Tour Down Under in which he raced for the composite Uni SA team this year.

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