Alby's alright

Although reported to have broken his collarbone following his crash at last Sunday's Paris-Roubaix,...

News feature, April 15, 2005

No broken bones for Liberty Seguros' Allan Davis

Although reported to have broken his collarbone following his crash at last Sunday's Paris-Roubaix, a few questions were raised when Allan Davis' name was seen just below that of Alessandro Petacchi after Wednesday's opening stage of the Vuelta a Aragon in Spain. So Cyclingnews decided to ask the man himself: miraculous three-day recovery or no broken bones?

"Nah, I'm alright, mate, no broken bones," said Davis in his typically laid-back Aussie drawl. "Just a bit of niggling with the bruise on my knee, but nothing too drastic... I'm fine, no dramas."

"I just went down in a wet pavé section, and hit my knee and elbow quite hard," he explained about the pile-up that also took down pre-race favourite Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto) in pavé sector 21 at roughly the 128 kilometre mark. "At first, I thought something was wrong with the elbow, but I went and got checked out to make sure nothing was broken, and it turned out to be alright."

The spill was a bad turn of luck for the 23 year-old Queenslander, who contracted a stomach bug at the Three Days of De Panne two weeks before Roubaix, leaving him below his best for the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Gent-Wevelgem, where he finished 70th place in the latter event, almost seven minutes down on winner Nico Mattan. "Really, the first day I felt okay again was Roubaix," said Davis.

"I was a bit disappointed [not to have finished Roubaix]. But if I had the feeling to get back on the bike, I would have had to wait a fair while, because my bike was pretty well wrecked, and it would have been hard to get back on with only one good wheel. Last year, I also crashed [in Roubaix]; it's just one of those races," he said, unphased by the circumstances.

Backing up his second place in Aragon to place fourth in yesterday's second stage, Davis now lies third overall behind Petacchi. With another sprint on the cards tomorrow before the inevitably decisive 11.2 km hill-climb time trial to Virgen de la Sierra de Herrera, the team is placing their money on Davis for a high overall finish in Illueca, where the race concludes this Sunday.

"I'm just taking it day by day," said Davis when asked about his aspirations for the race. "The hill-climb time trial coming up will sort out the times... I'll see what happens then."

On whether it was his or the team's decision to not race the rest of the Spring Classics such as Amstel Gold or Liège-Bastogne-Liège, he replied with a chuckle: "Yeah, that was Manolo [Saiz]; he sets out the programmes for each rider, so I just go where I'm told!"

Following the conclusion of the Vuelta a Aragon, Davis plans on taking a break from racing, before devoting his time and energy into preparing for what will be his second Tour de France. While he's not sure what races he'll do before then, the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré from June 5-12 is a likely bet.

"That's basically the idea, to concentrate on the Tour," Davis affirms. "Hopefully getting a start, and then getting mentally and physically prepared for it. I'm pretty sure Manolo's got an idea [of the composition] already, but between now and July, anything can happen - crashes, illness, stuff out of his control - so there's no point naming the nine riders now.

"You need a bit of luck, but hopefully I'll get a start," he added. No doubt Alby's hoping Lady Luck will sway his way come July.

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