• Simon Gerrans (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Simon Gerrans is determined to return to top form after a season that started badly, never got going and ended on a sour note.
By
AAP

Source:
AAP
30 Nov 2015 - 8:19 AM 

The Australian team's controversy at the world road championships meant a sour end to a season of unprecedented disaster for cycling star Simon Gerrans.

He admits to disappointment that so much post-race focus was on their tactics, rather than Michael Matthews' breakthrough second place and Gerrans also finishing a laudable sixth.

Gerrans is now preparing for the big Australian races in January after a season where he crashed repeatedly and was never able to find his usual top form.

After Matthews finished runner-up to Slovakian ace Peter Sagan in September at the elite men's road race, the young Australian lamented that the team had he and Gerrans as co-leaders.

Gerrans is unsure whether the issue was blown out of proportion, but is adamant the Australians raced well.

"We went in with a clear plan - everyone knew what their roles were," he told AAP.

"It was disappointing to receive so much negative press off the back of the world titles, because as an Australian team we raced to our plan really well."

Gerrans is also certain that whatever the Australian tactics, they would have struggled to beat Sagan.

"I know from experience - second place is a very disappointing place at the world titles," said Gerrans, who was runner-up last year.

"But Peter Sagan ... was practically unbeatable."

Matthews and Gerrans, who also ride together at Orica-GreenEDGE, have said separately that the matter was resolved at the Australian team's post-race debrief.

The controversy also stung Gerrans because thanks to his injuries, he only had a few weeks' buildup to the worlds yet still finished with the front group.

Even by professional cycling's standards, where crashes are an occupational hazard, Gerrans had the year from hell.

After the best season of his career, Gerrans suffered a broken collarbone late last year in pre-season training.

Then came a fractured elbow, followed by a badly-broken wrist at the Tour de France.

But those were only the worst injuries - Gerrans does not want to count up how many times he hit the deck.

"I had too many setbacks to mention," he said.

Well aware that in professional sport, you are only as good as your last result, Gerrans is determined to show he remains a force.

"That's a real motivator - just to prove to probably a few people who have doubted me, and not only to myself, that I'm still every bit the bike rider I was 12 months ago," the Orica-GreenEDGE star said.

"The goal is just to get back to winning races again."