By Greg Johnson in Adelaide, Australia
Allan Davis (UniSA-Australian National Team) proved the UCI made the right decision in allowing a national squad in a ProTour round for the first time by taking victory on stage three of the Tour Down Under. Davis said he wasn't out to prove his ability, despite not having a contract for this season, as he's proved that throughout his entire career.
"I've always known that, I've proved it all my career," he said. "I think I'm coming into a pretty good phase over the next hopefully five or six years, I'm just getting stronger and stronger. I think all the sprinters in the world know that when I'm there I'm there and who I am."
Davis didn't hold back on future goals. "It's coming into a pretty fierce battle between five or six of us [world-class sprinters] at the moment, hopefully over the coming years there will be two or three top sprinters in the world and hopefully I'll be amongst them," he added after taking the victory in front of his two children, wife and extended family, who were on awaiting the Queenslander's arrival in Victor Harbour at the end of stage three.
The former Discovery Channel rider's victory showed the UniSA-Australian National Team's abilities against its bigger ProTour rivals. The squad had Ritchie Porte in the day's first attack, which only lasted five kilometres, before its talented youngster Wesley Sulzberger launched an attack that saw him stay away for the majority of the race with two fellow riders. "We knew we had no problem knowing we could do it - especially with this bloke, I mean he's as good as anyone in the world," said team manager Dave Sanders. "It's good though to earn respect from the other teams, we're pretty pleased."
Sanders added that there will be plenty more to come from the UniSA-Australian National Team over the remaining three stages of the ProTour race. "There's no question. No question," he said. "We couldn't be happier where we are on general classification, we believe we will get up the hill better than some of the others guys that are sitting here.
"[The good results] certainly give us credibility - there it is in black and white, nobody has been embarrassed by it, I think it just speaks for itself," he concluded.
Davis, who is the only rider to contest all 10 Tour Down Unders, said he was delighted to win on the event's special Anniversary. "It's a big honour just to be here for 10 times, not just racing it but to be a part of the whole event," he said. "It's more than a bike race, it's an Australian national event and it brings a lot of international influx into Australia - just to be a part of that is a real privilege."