Allan Davis is convinced that the best years of his career are yet to come. The Australian sprinter, in his second year with the Astana team, turned 30 last year and after nine years in the pro ranks he hopes his maturity and experience will help him win one of cycling's big classics.
"I think the next five years will be the best of my whole career," Davis told Cyclingnews at the official Astana team presentation in Monaco last week. "I'm not getting any faster, but I'm getting stronger, both mentally and physically. I'm getting stronger on the climbs."
The Australian has finished second and fourth in Milano-San Remo and 'La Classicissima' remains his big objective for the first part of the 2011 season - even if he has other goals. "Milano-San Remo, Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders, those are the races I think I have room to improve in," he said. "The older I get, the more I think I can win these sort of races. I'm getting to know the roads a lot better."
Despite more than 30 victories, Davis still lacks that one big win that would consecrate his whole career. But he feels confident that one day, luck will be on his side and his experience will pay off. "I've had several top finishes in big races, so I know if I can do that, then I can also win one," he commented. "So hopefully this year, I'll score not only one, but a few big wins."
"Experience counts a lot, especially in the Belgian races. It's something that you don't get straight away, it comes over time. I've only really learned all the roads in the last three or four years and now, I have this experience which makes me more confident."
The Astana sprinter said that he felt on track for Milan-San Remo on March 19. He started the year well with ninth overall at the Tour Down Under, which he won in 2009. "For me it was a good start to the season," he said. "The Tour Down Under is a good guide of how you've looked after yourself in the winter, and the preparation I have done turned out well. I'm happy with my condition."
Davis feels that he has excellent support at Astana to help him achieve his goals. "We have quite a strong team for the sprints, also considering the newcomers. Mirko Lorenzetto is quite fast, and Tomas Vaitkus as well."
Another big objective for Davis will be this year's World Championships in Copenhagen. "I've seen the course on paper, and I'm planning to recon it some time during the year. But I've spoken to guys who have raced around it and it sounds like a good course to me," he concluded.