Davison aiming for future WorldTour career, hopes to eventually fight for Grand Tour stages
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Davison aiming for future WorldTour career, hopes to eventually fight for Grand Tour stages

by Shane Stokes at 11:32 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Commonwealth Games gold and Rio Olympics medium term goals

Luke DavisonWinner of two races at this month’s Mexico track World Cup and then of the Australian madison title with Alex Edmondson yesterday, Luke Davison has said his long term aspiration is a WorldTour contract and a ride in cycling’s Grand Tours.

The 23 year old rider plans a mixture of road and track between now and the 2016 Olympic Games, with gold in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and then in Rio being big focuses. At the same time, he wants to progress as a road rider and to work towards competing – and, ideally, contending for – some of the biggest races in the sport.

“As far as it goes, I will take it one step at a time and see how it all pans out. I am pretty focussed on the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics and I think that track background will only help my road progression. I will just have to wait and see,” Davison told VeloNation recently, speaking in a long video interview which can be found here.

“I think most amateurs and semi-pros dream to reach that top level and race in the Grand Tours. Once again, I am not naïve in thinking it is all going to happen straight away. It is a pretty tough path to get up there to the top tier and then to maintain that level. To be competitive is another story again.

“But I think the track will help to gain a few results and then to be able to cross over. Hopefully I will be doing a lot of these categorised UCI races and the week-long stage races, rather than – say - three weeks. That will be better to condition me for the future.”

Davison started racing at eleven years of age and took to the track one year later. He progressed rapidly, winning the team pursuit, madison and omnium at the junior track worlds in 2008, but then took a year out of the sport after he struggled in the transition to the senior ranks.

While he accepts that the time off interrupted his progression, he believes it was vital for his mind and, equally importantly, gave him some valuable life experience which stood to him once he returned to cycling again.

He’s more focussed than he might otherwise have been, and is determined to work hard and to try to build a strong career.

In 2012 the-then Team Budget Forklifts rider won stages in the Tour of Gippsland, Tour of the Great South Coast and Tour of the Murray River, taking the Australian National Road Series.

He then moved to Drapac Pro Cycling at the beginning of this season and was first to the line on stage two of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. A fine bronze medal in the scratch race at the world championships followed, then he returned to the road, won a stage of the Tour of the Murray River and spent time in Europe. He clocked up several kermesse wins there, increasing his belief that he could be a successful road rider abroad.

He will race with the Synergy Baku team in 2014 and while the team is Continental at this point in time, he regards it as a professionally-run setup which will grow in the seasons ahead.

“I originally spoke to Jeremy Hunt in the Azerbaijan Tour this year. After a few conversations, he seemed very interested in wanting to try to develop me and take me on board,” he explained, talking about how the contract came about. “That was something that I was very interested in in view of the track, as a stepping stone to pursuing bigger goals like the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.

“I think it was a pretty good opportunity to have a team that is willing to work in with that and with which I can also polish my road skills.”

Davison admits his schedule will be “very full on” in 2014, but believes that with proper planning and by also paying attention to his recovery, that a good season should lie ahead.

Longer term, providing things go to plan and he eventually makes it to the Grand Tours, he has an idea of what type of rider he’ll likely be. “I definitely think I’ll probably be a sprinter and maybe do the odd breakaway here or there, generally on flat stages. If you look at the climbers…even at a light weight, I am still around 75 kilos. I would never be too competitive on the hilly terrain.

Luke Davison“Ideally to make that level is a goal in itself, and then to start achieving results there would be a bonus.”

Past idols when he was a teenager were Baden Cooke and Robbie McEwen, who battled it out for the Maillot Vert in the Tour de France in 2003. “They were pretty fond memories. I always looked up to those types of riders,” Davison said.

More recently, he worked alongside two riders who have since made it to WorldTour level and who are riding very strongly. That example is an encouragement, and something which increases his belief that he perhaps follow their tracks.

“I was lucky enough to be in the AIS in the same year as Rohan Dennis and Michael Matthews and some other very successful young riders,” he said. “That obviously motivates me and spurs me on.

“I am not shy to the fact that it is hard work to get up there. I have just got to continue trying to step it up, year by year.”


Also see: Luke Davison video interview: Double World Cup race winner gaining confidence prior to 2014 track worlds

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