The last two years have been both tough and rewarding for Michael Rogers. Crashes and illness have been the low points. Starting a family and being part of a team that feels like one have been the highlights. It all adds up to a mature rider who knows his place is on the top step of the podium and one who knows the best way of getting there, as Cyclingnews' Les Clarke discovers.
Since his first Tour de France in 2003, Australia's Michael Rogers has been on the radar as a potential podium finisher in the world's biggest race. His ability to transfer the power he first developed as a raw track talent to the mountain stages of a Grand Tour has been a big drawcard for those interested in signing the 29-year-old born in Barham, in regional New South Wales.
That natural ability is reflected in his record in races against the clock. Rogers finished on the podium twice in the U23 time trial event at the world championships before going on to secure the senior title in the same discipline for three consecutive years - 2003 (Hamilton, Canada), '04 (Verona, Italy) and '05 (Madrid, Spain).
Add to this various national track titles, a Tour Down Under crown and a Commonwealth Games silver medal before his triple time trial success, and Michael Rogers was hot property for prospective employers.
Read the entire interview with one of the Australians's Tour hope.