Tougher and familiar Australian nationals course preferred by Gerrans
  May 24, 2024 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tougher and familiar Australian nationals course preferred by Gerrans

by Kyle Moore at 11:02 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, National Championships
“I think that all championship races should be about the strongest guy on the day fighting for the win, not the luckiest”

Simon GerransThe first big road cycling race of the new year traditionally takes place in Australia, with the country’s national championships. After an experiment with a new type of road championship course in early 2013, the Australian nationals return to the more selective course of old in 2014, which is favoured by Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge), who won his only national title the last time the course was situated in such a way.

The course will again have a more prominent feature of Mount Buninyong, outside of Ballarat, while taking on Geelong Road to the south.

The 2014 elite men’s road course will span a total of 183 kilometres and features 18 climbs of Mount Buninyong. In 2013, the race won by Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) incorporated longer loops after each climb, which served to make the racing more formulaic, and made it less exciting in the eyes of some.

The more neutralized form of racing perhaps benefitted riders with the bigger trade team representations, but even though Gerrans is the top rider on unquestionably Australia’s top team, he is happy to see the race return to its old format. The Tour de France yellow jersey wearer believes the race to decide the national champion will be more selective, and the best rider that day will win.

“You can never say with certainty how a course change will affect the racing,” Gerrans explained to SBS Cycling Central. "Predicting how the race will unfold tactically, that’s the question. But my first thought is (the change) makes the race more selective.”

Gerrans likes the idea of having the best rider win the day. He believes the tougher parcours will allow that to happen, no matter how many helpers the potential champion can round up. He pointed to Australian veteran Matt Lloyd, who has ridden for Belgium’s Lotto squads and Italy’s Lampre team since his pro career began.

“Buninyong is hard. Of course, it’s always an advantage to have a team, no question about that, but you’re at less of a disadvantage on a circuit like the one we’ve got if you’re going well. The classic example is someone like Matt Lloyd. He’s been up there fighting for the win so many times, and he’s very rarely there with any team-mates. That’s why I like the idea of the race being more selective, it takes the luck out of it, and personally I think that all championship races should be about the strongest guy on the day fighting for the win, not the luckiest.”

Not to say that Durbridge wasn’t a deserving winner in 2013, as the young Aussie also took the time trial national championship double. But Gerrans believes he will be in a good spot for the elite men’s road race on January 12, if not at one-hundred percent as he builds again for the Ardennes Classics.

"I’m in a good position to be going well in January, because I finished 2013 a little earlier than I might’ve liked, and I’ll have a few more kilometres in my legs than I would normally have, and hopefully that translates into some good form for January,” Gerrans explained.

Along with the members of pro continental team Drapac Pro Cycling, the 2012 Aussie champ designated the Garmin-Sharp contingent as a bunch to watch – in Rohan Dennis, Lachlan Morton, Nathan Haas, and Steele Von Hoff.

“In the past we’ve seen a pretty strong Garmin team, and that’ll be no different this year. There are a lot of good young Aussie guys in Garmin now, and they're getting better every year. I expect them to be in great shape in January. Then there’s the domestic-based teams, so it’s going to be a dynamic race,” Gerrans concluded.


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC