It's been a little over three weeks since he arrived in a drizzly Gent, Belgium but the weather has done little to dampen the winning streak of Luke Davison who is relishing his racing the kermesse circuit with members from the Australia National Track Team.
Davison has 'enjoyed' just a few rain-free days since landing earlier this month and has already accumulated a handy tally of wins in the kind of circuit races that helped forge his National Road Series title in 2012. Admittedly, the kermesses Davison and his teammates have been riding are more than twice the distance of the usual one-hour criteriums that heavily feature in the NRS calendar.
"We are here to get some k's in the legs," Davison told Cyclingnews. "The NRS is great but once you come to Europe there's such a depth and quality in the racing. Instead of a 60k crit, it's 120k's."
However, there were some tough kilometres to endure before the start of Davison's already promising European trip with the first stop at the Tour de Azerbaijan, where he experienced a tough five days of racing.
"It was a bit of an eye-opener. Most of us are used to racing the NRS or just one-day races. The first day was a flat stage that didn't really test the legs too much - a lot of teams were holding back but on the second day every man and his dog wanted to be in the EB [early break] and we were racing like a pack of 16-year-olds. The next day had three or four Category 2 climbs and we all got spat. It was pretty tough, from there it was hard to recover."
Racing 770km in five days came as a bit of a shock for Davison but the experience is exactly what track coach Tim Decker wanted to achieve.
"After the second day we were all knackered. It's about learning to understand your body and then adapt to to race over the full week. Tim has put emphasis on getting to know each other because track work is actually very individual a lot of the time.
"In a team pursuit you are going full-bore and you can't help someone through it or race tactically with someone."
With three wins on the board Davison says it's much too earlier to start thinking about a professional contract for 2014 but with three more kermesses before flying out for the Tour de Korea, he says being able to win in the NRS and do the same in Europe certainly doesn't hurt. The next step will be to demonstrate his winning capacity in the AsiaTour race that begins in a little over a week's time.
"I think it's important to win back home in the NRS but you need to show you can come to Europe and do the same. You get a bit more exposure being closer to the professional scene and even though it's at an amateur level it shows good signs.
"I have to continue to step up and Korea will be important to try and put a few marks up there on the scoreboard," added Davison in regard to the eight-stage, 1,077km tour.
After Korea Davison will fly back to Australia for a small break before hitting the boards in Adelaide for a Category-1 track meet ahead of his bigger objectives; the UCI Track World Cup, World Championships and Commonwealth Games. It'll be a busy back-end to the year for last year's Tour of Murray River winner who will squeeze in a number of NRS events racing for the Drapac squad in the latter part of 2013.
"I'm pretty happy with how things are going, we've got a good team here and some good facilities. It'll be a bit of a balance heading into later in the year but I'll still have Gippsland, Murray and South Coast."
The Tour de Korea begins on 6 June with a 172km stage from Cheonan to Muju. Professional Continental squads MTN-Qhubeka, Novo Nordisk and Champion System will line-up alongside the Australia National Team and a number of Continental and national teams.
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