Gerrans: “You can’t be frustrated if you haven’t got the legs”
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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Gerrans: “You can’t be frustrated if you haven’t got the legs”

by Kyle Moore at 10:53 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
Aussie favourite has an off day, calls Gilbert a worthy victor

Simon GerransAllan Davis (Australia) came into the world road race in Valkenburg as the protected Australian should he still be present in a bunch sprint finale. Davis worked alone and rode to a solid sixth place. Australia’s other protected man, Simon Gerrans, was present at the finish as well, and was the more likely candidate to cover a searing move like the one put in by eventual race winner Philippe Gilbert (Belgium).

But Gerrans was unable to go with the Belgian Classics star, who rode to his first rainbow jersey, though the Australian was diplomatic at the finish after crossing 21st. With four big wins on the season, including the Australian road championship and Milan-Sanremo, Gerrans was unable to add a fifth on Sunday.

Gerrans indicated his plan was to attack on the final lap around Valkenburg, though this never really materialized, and he could only salute Gilbert at the finish.

“He was definitely a worthy winner today,” Gerrans told Cycling Central. “I stuck to my plan and waited and put all eggs in the basket of going on the last lap but Philippe was just too strong when he attacked at two kilometres to go. I was in the next wave of guys but couldn't match his acceleration there so he’s a worthy winner and I'm really happy for him.”

Similar to his win in Sanremo, when he covered an attack by Fabian Cancellara, along with Vincenzo Nibali, and then used his superior kick to win, Gerrans would have looked to stay on Gilbert’s wheel before unleashing his sprint in the flat run-in to the line. But poor legs never allowed Gerrans the chance.

“You can't be too frustrated when you haven't got the legs,” he added. “If I was good enough to go with Philippe I deserve to be on the podium so at the end of the day I'm disappointed I didn't have the legs. But when you don't, you can't lose too much sleep over it.”

Davis noted another solid finish in the road race championship, though he too admitted that he was powerless against Gilbert.

“We all knew what he was going to do, what tactics the Belgian team was going to have, he was just too strong. Once again another top ten for me in the worlds,” Davis stated.

The Australian squad worked well at the front of the peloton through the second part of the race, working with the Belgians to keep multiple breakaways close. Vuelta a España mountains classification winner Simon Clarke took long turns on the front before pulling off, and Heinrich Haussler and David Tanner were also big contributors.

“The guys did a fantastic job,” Gerrans praised. “All fulfilled their roles and their jobs at the start of the day. All the guys really stepped up a level this year and did great job looking after us.”

“It was my job to take the pressure off of Gerro, and by doing that we had to be in everything before the final decisive lap so he could wait until then,” Clarke explained, before also crediting Gilbert’s storming ride.

“I've been on [Gilbert’s] wheel before when he attacks and if you want to go with him you have to be one centimeter behind him because if you're not there's no way you can follow him. Full credit to him because it was an awesome ride, but to win a world championship you need an awesome ride. Good on him and let's hope we can go better next year.”


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