Defending champ Davis confident heading into Tour Down Under
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Defending champ Davis confident heading into Tour Down Under

by Conal Andrews at 5:54 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 

Allan Davis is determined to get his time with the Astana team off to the best start possible, and is aiming to win the first ProTour event of the year.

The Australian rider will shortly line out in the Santos Tour Down Under, and tells his rivals that he is ready for the challenge.

"In all sports I think defending champion is extra pressure on anyone's shoulders," Davis told reporters after arriving in Adelaide, according to AAP. "But I just keep things as normal as possible ... good base quality training over the summer. I'm pretty much in the same condition as I was last year, and as I've been over all the years."

Davis excelled in last year’s event, winning three stages, the points ranking and the overall classification. It followed on from previous strong results in his home country’s biggest tour; in 2005 he was second overall, in 2006 he took two stages and in 2008 he netted another stage win and was once again the runner-up.

Two days after next Sunday’s Cancer Council Helpline Classic, he will begin the first stage as the only rider in the field to have taken part in all twelve editions.

He feels that the winner two years ago, André Greipel, is the one he must monitor most closely. "I ran second to him two years ago and last year he had a crash," he said. "I think we would have had a tough battle again so I think he's probably the favourite."

Greipel recovered from his injury and went on to have a very strong season, with his wins including four stages of the Vuelta a España plus the points jersey. He is motivated to once again top the podium, but must reckon with Davis.

The latter will be backed up by a solid Astana team, with 2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro, Valeriy Dmitriyev, Andriy Grivko, Josep Jufre Pou, Jess Hernandez Blazquez and Gorazd Stangelj.

His brother Scott Davis won’t be part of the squad in this race, but he will compete alongside Allan in 2010. This, he says, is something that is very important to him.

"Having my brother alongside me is something we haven't done before in the professional ranks," he said. "Like all brothers in sport, when times are tough he's the first one there to pick you up and when times are good he's there to settle you down as well."

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