Aussies

6 July 2011

Now that Cadel Evans has won a stage in the Tour de France,
it is time to have a little talk about him and his background.
Well, we know he was the world champion of 2009,
that he has a dog named Molly and that he was born in Australia.
Australia, you say? Yes, Australia.
As a matter of fact, there are six Australian riders in the Tour of this year.
Richie Porte, Stuart O’Grady, Simon Gerrans,
Matthew Goss, Mark Renshaw and of course Cadel Evans.
Three of them already won one or more Tour stages.
Cycling in Australia is getting more and more popular.
Since the 80’s a lot of Australian cyclists have entered the peloton.
Three of them are Phil Anderson, Robbie McEwen and Bradley McGee.
Anderson was riding his first Tour in 1981 and he was there to look after a rider of his team, but went for his own chances during a stage in the Pyrenees.
He was climbing with the best of the riders
and at the end of the day he got to wear the yellow jersey.
He had no idea of what the yellow jersey represented, because
after he crossed the finish line he stated:  ‘Oh yes, great.
I don’t have to wash my old jersey tonight, you know, I get a new one.’
McGee, now a team director at Team Saxo Bank-SunGard, was one of the
Australian riders who also got to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour.
He also won two stages, one of them was the prologue in the Tour of 2003.
Actually, Bradley McGee was also the first Australian rider who got to wear
the pink jersey in the Giro d’Italia and the golden jersey in the Vuelta a España.
Robbie McEwen is still an active Australian rider, even though he is already 39!
His career in the Tour de France is impressive.
He won 12 stages and got to take the green jersey home three times.
We have to go back to 2007 to find his last win in the Tour de France,
but he sure gave Australian cycling an enormous boost.
During this Tour, people in Australia are talking about Cadel Evans.
Who will it be in five years?
Some say Richie Porte might be the new sensation, others believe
that Michael Matthews will become an incredible sprinter, but maybe it will
be a young, talented rider of whom we do not know anything at the moment.
Right now we have no idea, but we will continue to watch
the Tour de France in the following years and one day we will know.

© Graham Watson

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