Gerrans credits Anderson in his success

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Simon Gerrans has continued the proud tradition of Australian cycling, following in his footsteps of his first cycling coach Phil Anderson who was the first Australian to wear the Tour de France yellow jersey.

It's pretty special now to follow in Phil Anderson's footsteps. He was the first Australian to wear the yellow jersey and obviously to become the latest Australian is a pretty special feeling

Gerrans started cycling to help rehabilitate knee injuries suffered while racing motor bikes, but he never imagined he would go on to emulate the feats of pioneering Australian compatriot Phil Anderson



On Monday Gerrans, who won his maiden Tour de France stage in 2008, grabbed his second career win on the race to hand his Orica-GreenEdge team their maiden Tour win.

It got the proverbial monkey off his team's back a year after their race debut in 2012 ended with lots of encouragement but no stage wins.

But few expected Orica to make it two in a row.

On Tuesday the Aussies kept the momentum going with victory in the fourth stage team time trial over 25 km around Nice. To top it off, Gerrans took possession of the fabled yellow jersey.

"It's unbelievable. It's been a dream two days for us. It really doesn't get any better than this," said Gerrans.

While Gerrans had caused minor shock on Monday by throwing his wheel over the line ahead of Slovakian sprint specialist Peter Sagan, team sporting director Matt White was even more surprised by Tuesday's winning performance.

"It's certainly been a very big two days," said White, who only returned to the sport recently following a ban after admitting to using performance enhancing drugs while a rider with Lance Armstrong's US Postal team.

"Most teams are judged very much by how they perform at the Tour de France," said White.

"We've won more than 50 races since our inception ... but yesterday (Monday) was obviously the biggest win for the team. To win today, to put Simon (Gerrans) into the yellow jersey, we didn't really expect it."

The 33-year-old is the only Australian to win stages in all three Grand Tours, has two victories from the Tour Down Under, won the 2012 Milan-San Remo as well as the 2009 GP Ouest-France Plouay and 2012 Grand Prix Quebec.

He has also achieved podium finishes in prestigious one-day classics like the Clasica San Sebastian and Amstel Gold Race.

Gerrans says part of the credit should go to Anderson.

"Phil Anderson introduced me to cycling, he was my first coach and lent me a bike to get started in competitive cycling," explained Gerrans.

"So it was really thanks to Phil that I took up cycling as a sport. Originally I first took it up to help me get over some knee injuries from racing motor bikes.

"So it's pretty special now to follow in his footsteps. He was the first Australian to wear the yellow jersey and obviously to become the latest Australian is a pretty special feeling."

Podcast 2 July 2013: Maillot jaune Simon Gerrans - TdF press conference by Cycling Central

SBS will broadcast all stages of the Tour de France live.

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