All guns blazing
Signing with Ag2R Prévoyance in late 2004, Simon Gerrans has stormed onto the pro scene in 2005 with a string of top ten victories against stiff competition, including victory in the Tour du Finistère in April - and the 25-year-old Victorian has only just begun. Cyclingnews' Les Clarke caught up with Gerrans just after he'd finished the Tour of Luxembourg to see how this young gun is firing.
Moving to Europe and getting a start in a pro team is one thing, but getting out on the road and beating seasoned campaigners in notable races in your first year is something else altogether. Ag2R's Australian neo-pro, Simon Gerrans, has done this in 2005. After joining Vincent Lavenu's team in September 2004, Gerrans came out with all guns blazing.
Gerrans joined a growing list of Australians plying their trade in Europe in 2005, celebrating his arrival with victory in the Tour du Finistère, beating the likes of Cofidis' David Moncoutié, and eighth place in Brabantse Pijl, riding against stars of the sport such as Armstrong, Freire, Hincapie and Ekimov. By his own admission he's been shocked by such performances and now faces the possibility of riding the Tour de France after his team was granted a wildcard entry into le Grand Boucle.
Having moved to Nice, Gerrans is enjoying the beginning of his pro career, saying, "It's really great. I've got my own apartment in Nice with plenty of other Aussies around to train with. It's fantastic being able to train with those guys and even the weather's been good." The big buzz around Ag2R right now is their wildcard entry to the Tour de France, and Gerrans explained, "The reception's been great; they were always confident of getting it [the wildcard entry], but we didn't know for that long before the announcement was made that we were a real chance of getting that entry."
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