By Anthony Tan
All Aussie cycling fans know they're brothers, although there's a few others that don't. But yes, it's true: Allan and Scott Davis both come from that same small town called Bundaberg in Northern Queensland and same small family that has seen them both turn professional in 2003 and race at the highest level of the sport they love.
And proving that bros like doing things together, even when they're on different teams with 'Alby' at Liberty Seguros and Scott racing for the T-Mobile Team, yesterday's outing at La Flèche Wallonne was a new experience for both. "Yeah, first time," admits Scott, who, at 26 years old, is one year and three months older than his brother.
So how was he feeling less than ten minutes before the start?
"Oh... so far, so good!" laughed Scott nervously. "I actually got the call-up [at the last minute]; I wasn't supposed to do these races because I've got Romandie coming up next week and then going to the Giro, but you can't knock back these Classic races; they're maybe once in a lifetime [opportunity] - and I'll take the opportunity with both hands!" he exclaimed.
At this level, elder brother Allan, although never having done the race before, is the more experienced and successful of the two, and was hoping for a little more after a good ride in last Sunday's Amstel Gold Race. "Commonwealth Games were good for me, then it was straight back into the Classics, Flanders and Roubaix," he said. "They're not really up my alley, but it was the first time I'd ridden the Amstel Gold Race and I really enjoyed it. I had the worker's job to do but I enjoyed the race; hopefully I can give it a go next year, but we'll see what happens today as well.
"It's the first time I've ridden here but the course suits me if I'm on my day, suits my characteristics, so I'll have a go, mate!" smiled Alby. "We've also got a couple of other team-mates, two who finished in the top 10 last year, so we're not a bad team... we've just got to play our cards."
True to his words, Allan's team-mate David Etxebarria, fourth at last year's Flèche Wallonne, was again Liberty's best rider in seventh position. Allan himself rode a solid Flèche, placing himself in a promising counter-attack in the latter half of the race that was eventually caught by the peloton, but still finished a respectable 2'30 behind Alejandro Valverde. Scott was another 50 places down, but was most likely happy just to have finished.
"Never!" was Scott's response when asked if he'd ever ridden the 'Mur' before until yesterday. "Back in Bundy, we have trouble getting a hill, let alone a steep one!"
Acting as sort of a second brother to Scott at T-Mobile is world time trial champion Michael Rogers, who knows both Davis brothers extremely well and can no doubt impart a few words of wisdom if Allan's not around. "Yeah, like you say, we've grown up racing together," said Scott, "so it's awesome having Mick and I together; it brings out the best in both of us, so we're having a great time, we've settled in great."