Having found cycling a little later than some, I never really gave myself a chance to find cycling glory, at the age of 29 I started club racing for the first time, and now at almost 31, I do ok, I may even pick up a few placings here and there, but my best days are well and truly behind me - I know that, and I’m ok with it. What I love is when I see cyclists my age really taking it to the younger guys and not just taking it to them, but smashing them! I think this is part of the reason I have developed a serious man-crush on Gerro!
I don’t know much about Simon Gerrans, save for what Wikipedia has told me! Apparently he was born in Mansfield, in Victoria, and he took up cycling after his neighbour, none other than Australia’s first Yellow Jersey wearer, Phil Anderson, convinced him to get on the bike to get over a knee injury!
Over the summer I got to witness Gerro, Australia’s cyclist of the moment, take out the National Road Championships. He burned up the roads of Buninyong, earning himself the right to wear the national colours for the next 12 months, and take the win for the newly formed Green Edge cycling team. This was the start of what I’m sure will turn out to be his best year on the road, since turning professional in 2005.
Soon after the national champs Gerro took out the overall classification at the Tour Down Under (for the second time), and recorded yet another win for Green Edge. There was to be no monkey on the back of Green Edge, no hopelessly waiting around for an elusive first victory, Gerro had other ideas, he effectively gave them a dream start on the 2012 UCI World Tour.
Then, as our attentions turned toward the one day classics in Europe, Gerro took the win at the Milan – San Remo, outsprinting two of the biggest names in cycling, Nibali and Cancellara. It was a brilliantly calculated ride and surely one of the highlights of his long career.
So often in cycling we see top cyclists battle, year in - year out, to get to the top, to find the form that will write them into the record books. I don’t know why it happens like this, but for some reason at different points in cyclists careers everything comes together and they suddenly go from a talented achiever to a champion. We saw it in 2011 with Phillipe Gilbert. It seems that Gerro has hit one of those elusive white-hot patches in his career and I hope he continues to ride the wave and keep on winning.
Not just ‘cause he’s an Aussie, more because he seems like a great bloke!
And the fact that he’s the same age as me gives me hope that I too can achieve some great things on the bike!