With one of the fastest kicks in the domestic peloton Scott Law has enjoyed his fair share of podium time in recent years but his victory on the final day at the Woodside Tour de Perth surprisingly marked just his second stage win in the National Road Series. He took to the top step, in the NRS, at Tour of the Murray in 2010 but the animated salute in Perth wasn't just about personal achievement, it also served to silence those who suggested GPM-Data#3 were not strong enough to compete against the likes of Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers and Budget Forklifts - the two top-ranked teams in Australia.
Law endured a stint in Belgium in 2012 with the An Post - Sean Kelly squad after taking out the U23 Australian criterium title but it didn't provide an environment where the 22-year-old felt he could flourish. Now racing with GPM-Data#3 Law says his morale has never been better and it's largely in part to the squad that is known among the NRS scene to truly enjoy every race they attend.
Picking eight-riders from the line-up of 16 for each NRS event is a task which team manager Trent Wilson never enjoys for the simple fact that his riders are all eager to race. Motivation and a real bond within the squad played a significant part in the victory in Bold Park, according to Law.
"That's one thing I've been lacking for the past year or two was being within a team that has that mateship about it; where everyone gets along really well and enjoys racing," Law told Cyclingnews.
Coming back to the NRS has provided Law with a better balance between his usual life and cycling ambitions and says that riding under the wing or Wilson, or 'Willo' as he's affectionately known has given him that little extra nudge that every rider needs from time to time.
"Last year in Belgium [with An Post] it was super serious and everything was bike racing whereas with Willo's team everyone has a personal life and if we ever need anything Willo or Simo (Simon Hammond) is always there to help. It's a bit more of a relaxed feel and helps to calm you down before racing as opposed to getting really stressed out," he said.
"Willo really wanted to show everyone that we are one of the strong contenders in the NRS and that we've got a strong team and so we really wanted to put our name out there and show everyone that we can mix it with all those guys," said Law in regard to the pep talk the team received prior to the final stage at Tour de Perth. "That gave us a lot of motivation to go out there and give it 110% and come away with a good win," he added.
Not every race in the NRS calendar is going to suit the sprinting ability of Law and while he could attend nearly every race throughout the year, he'll be taking a more strategic approach to the tours he competes in. Some of them he'll be gunning for stage wins while others may present an opportunity to ride for the overall classification. If that all comes together then the dream is similar to that of many an aspiring cyclist: to go to Europe and race with a ProTeam. But first, he needs to continue to progress and get the runs on the board.
"The main focus will be looking for stage wins and trying to be up there for the sprints. Tour of Gippsland and Tour of the Murray, races like that, especially Murray, that suits me a lot so we'll be riding there for GC. The hillier races are more suited to the other guys so I might be give a couple a miss and concentrate on the flatter tours and also one-day races like Warny (Melbourne to Warrnambool) and Goulburn [to Sydney]," Law told Cyclingnews.
"I'd like to have a good start to the year and then maybe see about joining up with the national team for a few of the Asian races like Tour of Hainan, if they are doing it. Hopefully with a couple more wins I can show I'm capable of being within the national team for those races and then step up from there.
"The goal is to be over in Europe racing the WorldTour so I'm going to focus on just having a really good year and then look to put my hand up to get over there - hopefully in the next year or two."