Gerrans an unknown for Australia at the Worlds, says White

Orica GreenEdge sport director sees Belgium as the strongest team for Richmond

Simon Gerrans (Australia) may have won a medal in last year's World Championships but the Australian goes into this year's men's road race as a complete unknown due to an injury-hit season.

Gerrans crashed out of the Classics earlier this spring and then suffered a similar fate at the Tour de France in July. The former Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner managed to make it through the Vuelta a Espana but his form is still a relative unknown – especially compared to last year when he dominated the two Canadian WorldTour races.

"He goes into the Worlds as a bit of an unknown really," Matt White, his trade team manager at Orica GreenEdge told Cyclingnews.

"He got through the Vuelta but he had a few health problems at the end. Where he is at when it comes to the Worlds is a bit of an unknown. I'm not part of the national team's preparation and plans but he can still be a factor.

Although there is a question of Gerrans' condition there is far less concern over the form of Michael Matthews, who has had a hugely successful season and is finding his form at a crucial point in the year. The course in Richmond also suits the rider.

"Michael comes in, like Simon, with a different preparation, but the course suits him," said White.

"As for the course, I've been here for ten days so I've seen it. It's a fast course and the three climbs come in quick succession. Positioning is going to be crucial but I think that the Belgian team are going to be the strongest here. It's going to be a really aggressive race because there will be a lot f guys left with a couple of laps to go." 

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