Australian Simon Gerrans has only won three times this year, but they have all been big victories: a stage at both the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España, as well as French one-day race GP Plouay. The Cervélo rider won the Vuelta a España's 10th stage to Murcia Tuesday and looks ahead to his next objective in two weeks, the World Championships.
"I have been able to come up right each time," Gerrans told Cyclingnews. "This year I have had a big race programme, I have not done too many smaller races. The smaller ones I have done have been preparations for my objectives."
Gerrans, 29, prepared well for the Ardennes Classics in April. Although he failed to get a victory, he placed in the top ten in all three races. His good form carried him through to the Giro. In Italy, he supported overall leader Carlos Sastre and fought for stage wins, finally succeeding on the famous climb to the San Luca sanctuary in Bologna.
After a break, Gerrans came back to win France's one-day Classic GP Plouay in August. The event was held on the same course as the 2000 World Championships and might predict the future for the Australian.
"I have come here [Vuelta - ed.] to also prepare for the World Championships," continued Gerrans. "If you look at the past 10 years, most of the winners have come from the Vuelta.
"I think I definitely merit some support in the Australian team, but we should have multiple captains and not put it all on one guy's shoulders. I don't know, if it all pans out right I can be up there with the best."
This year's circuit in Mendrisio, Switzerland, is 13.8 kilometres long and features two climbs, Acqua Fresca and Novazzano. It will be repeated 19 times for 262.2 kilometres and 4655 metres of climbing.
Whether or not Gerrans will wear the World Champion's rainbow jersey in 2010, he will race with the Sky logo. Gerrans announced today that he would join the British team and leave Cervélo TestTeam. He had joined Cervélo this season after four years with AG2R and one with Crédit Agricole.
"There were some races I wanted to do, that I didn't, whether it was in a support role or with some freedom," Gerrans said of Cervélo. "Then there were some races that were objectives, where I don't think I got the support I should have."
Next year, Gerrans wants to focus on a win in the one-day Ardennes Classics: Amstel, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
"I had three top 10 finishes this year, I think it is something I can build on in the future. I think the names that are associated with Sky, the riders and staff, I will have every opportunity to do that there."
He will also aim for a week-long stage race, like Paris-Nice.