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Gerrans wins nationals ahead of Tour Down Under showdown

Cycling News
January 12, 21:35,
January 12, 22:32
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, January 13, 2014
Cycling Australia Road National Championships
Simon Gerrans with his gold pan prize for winning

Simon Gerrans with his gold pan prize for winning

  • Simon Gerrans with his gold pan prize for winning
  • Simon Gerrans wins the 2014 Australian national road race
  • The 2014 Men's road race podium, Richie Porte (Team Sky), Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) and Cadel Evans (BMC)

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Australian to lead Orica in first WorldTour race of the season

Excellent teamwork, coupled with a strong finish from Simon Gerrans, saw the Orica-GreenEdge leader come home with his second national road title on Sunday. Gerrans beat Cadel Evans and Richie Porte in the finale to pull on the green and gold jersey.

"It's such a huge honour to have this green-and-gold jersey for the next 12 months,” Gerrans said.

"Australia is such a dominant force on the world stage, so the Australian champion is a jersey that's well-respected overseas. I'm just so happy to finish off some fantastic work by all my Orica-GreenEdge teammates."

Gerrans' team came into the race with a strong line up with Luke Durbridge, Cameron Meyer and were looking to win their third straight national men’s road title. However with Cadel Evans, Richie Porte and a rejuvenated Drapac team on the start line, a third crown was anything but a certainly.

"When you look at the depth of the field today and you look at these two guys standing by my side, this could be any race, anywhere around the world. So it really shows the strength of Australian cycling now.

"It really showed the commitment of my team out there today - Cameron did work his butt off in the last few kilometres. He really committed to me there, so I really cannot thank him enough. You saw the way my whole team rode out there today."

GreenEdge and Drapac flooded the main move of the day but on the final few laps it was the WorldTour team that stamped their authority on the battling underdogs.

"The plan was always to try and have it together for me on the last lap if the race was any way under the threat and the guys committed to that.

"They brought it back together for me and then we saw Cameron Meyer work tirelessly for me on the last lap and make sure it was all together in that little group at the front.

"To have Simon Clarke, Luke Durbridge and Mitch Docker in the front in that breakaway, they are three of our stronger riders.

"So we were confident that if that break was going to go all the way, those guys could finish it off."

Gerrans will take the confidence boosting win into the Tour Down Under, which starts later this month. A two-time winner of the event, he will spearhead GreenEdge’s overall challenge in the first WorldTour race of the season.

"The plan is to go to Tour Down Under with a focus on the overall. Today was a little bit of a test for me. I haven't raced since early September. I knew I'd done all the hard work in training, but I didn't really know where my form was at. I'm obviously really pleased with where it's at, at the end of today."

wrinklyvet 8 months ago
"Australia is such a dominant force on the world stage" - Yes and no. Do not risk understating your dominance, will you! Apart from that, let's compliment him on a job well done. Nice to see how much he appreciates the jersey.
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Pedal Pusher 8 months ago
Gerrans said it himself , "you saw the way my whole team rode out there today". Sure he is a worthy winner but its a national individual title not a team title so hardly fair in terms of those who ride without team support. You really have to admire what Evans and Porte did to come in 2nd and 3rd. OGE had a team of 12 and Drapac had 13, and yet the race is an individual title - something doesn't add up here. Now lets see how OGE goes next week at the TDU where all teams have 7 riders.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Do you complain about a tour winner thanking his team? Do you complain about a world champion thanking his team?
wrinklyvet 8 months ago
I think he just points out that if you ride for a team that is based in the same country you have more support than those whose teams are based elsewhere, which can affect who wins the national title. In this respect "my whole team rode out there today" draws attention to that. That's all, I am sure. What Gerrans said was, of course, the right thing.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Read the comment he specifically says his win was unfair.
wrinklyvet 8 months ago
If your own comment had been in any way about that I imagine I could have expressed an opinion. But it wasn't. It was in reference to your comment only.
philjthommo 8 months ago
World championship is exactly the samer, country's can have from 1-8 (?) riders in a team.
wrinklyvet 8 months ago
Absolutely true, but (apart from the differences in the numbers allowed from different countries) everyone in the World Championship is there with his team. It's not so in any national championships, where some will be supported and some not, so Pedal Pusher has a point, and one that I fully understand. That's not to say it should not happen like that or it can somehow be avoided.