On the eve of the world cycling championships (which start tonight) I am filled with hope and anticipation since all of my other sports have finished miserably. My Cronulla Sharks lost their semi-final on Friday, the Aussie cricket team are regularly beaten by England, the Wallabies just get a win over Argentina and Mark Webber is wrapping up and winding down his year.
But I have to say, this is my first winter (European Summer) of seriously following all forms of road racing and I have loved it. Every morning I have woken up and checked the twitter feed to get my daily fix of Aussies going well.
Seriously, if you haven’t checked, Aussies in road cycling and for that matter, any form of Cycling – are Winners!!!!
Cadel Evans (BMC Racing: @CadelOfficial) is obviously the pick because of his Tour de France success and also includes a recent stage win in Canada but we also have two other key world championship contenders:
- Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEDGE: @simongerrans) – Tour de France stage winner and yellow jersey wearer (meaning tour leader)
- Richie Porte (Team Sky: @richie_porte) – Lead man for Tour de France winner Chris Froome and winner of Paris-Nice
Unfortunately Gerrans is out after a recent crash in Spain so it’s up to Richie and Cadel, or maybe a wild card like Rohan Dennis or Simon Clarke.
There have also been many other successes particularly by the “youngins”, some who have changed to road from track cycling so the future is looking good too:
- Rohan Dennis (Garmin Sharp: @RohanDennis) – who recently won a stage and then the Tour of Alberta in Canada as a Neo Pro (first year professional)
- Lachlan Morton (Garmin Sharp: @lachlanmorton) – won a stage in Tour of Utah also as a Neo Pro
- Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEDGE: @blingmatthews) – two time stage winner in the Tour of Spain
- Annette Edmondson (Orica AIS: @NettieEdmondson) – stage winner of Lotto Belisol Tour in Belgium
In fact, if you look at the starters of any road race in the world, and filter by Country, Australia has at least 8 riders whereas so many others have 1 or 2. For example, we had 11 in France, 12 in Spain, 11 in Alberta and 11 in Utah just to name a few. And, they are spread across many of the international teams at the top level.
If that’s not enough, consider:
- Caroline Buchanan (@CBuchanan68)- Dual world champion in 2013 for BMX and Mountain Bike
- Paul Van Der Ploeg (@Paulvanderplow) – World Champion Mounatin Biker 2013
- Shane Perkins (@PerkoPerkins) – Winner 11 or 12 events in a season of Kierin racing in Japan
- Craig Alexander (@CrowieAlexander) – A regular winner on the IronMan circuit
I am still yet to get into track racing so I am sure there are more pockets of racing I need to understand, and there is plenty of depth in the BMX and Mountain bike ranks but when I look at who I follow on Twitter (@CyclingBTD), there are so many Aussies I haven’t mentioned.
After watching late night tour of Britain last week, it’s going to be another bleary-eyed Monday… C’mon Aussies – All the best!
Seriously, I am loving this sport. Something is always happening.
PS Keep Caleb Ewan (@CalebEwan) in your sites in the u/23’s.