By Jean-François Quénet
The big absent on the start list of Milano-Sanremo is last year's runner-up Allan Davis who remained without a team for the 2008 season until Thursday, when he signed a one-year deal with Estonian-registered outfit Mitsubishi-Jartazi. The Pro Continental Belgian-based squad isn't participating at the Primavera, therefore the Australian will race under their colours for the first time in Belgium next week, either at Dwaars Door Vlaanderen or the GPE3.
Davis hasn't raced on the road since the Tour Down Under where he came second in January as a member of the Australian composed team UniSA. "I have been doing some different things than normal," he told Cyclingnews. "Straight after the Tour Down Under, I took part in two Six Days in Copenhagen and Hasselt, then I had a rest and some family time at home in Oiartzun in the Basque country, and started training again on the road two weeks ago.
"I'm happy so far with my new team and looking forward to racing", he added. But he'll feel frustrated to be forced to watch Milano-Sanremo on TV. "Every year it is the first major goal for me", he stated. "And it is a race where I think I can always do well as it suits my cycling characteristics. It is an unfair situation for me not to be there again, but I have lots more races now this year with my new team and I am still young."
Being sidelined by the world of cycling due to the appearance of his name in the Operación Puerto although he got cleared by the Spanish authorities and Cycling Australia, the 28 year-old from Queensland who rode for Discovery Channel last year will be a different rider following that bad experience.
"I will be back better than ever in years to come on the start line for the Milano-Sanremo", he promised. This is a new start for him. "For the rest of the year I am working on getting as many good results as possible in all races. Targeting all the big one-day classics and later on to the end of the year the Olympics and Worlds as well. These are my goals", a determined Davis said.