Recent news from the UCI that Australia has overtaken Spain as the topcycling nation on the Pro-Tour really highlights the distance roadcycling has come in this country.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

Recent news from the UCI that Australia has overtaken Spain as the top
cycling nation on the Pro-Tour really highlights the distance road
cycling has come in this country.

After the first quarter of a season that began on our shores, Australia now sits in top spot, having overtaken Spain and Italy.

And
in the individual rankings, Queensland's unheralded Allan Davis
(Quickstep) has increased his lead after a fourth placing in the recent
Milan-San Remo in Italy.

Davis is ahead of Spain's Luis Leon
Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) and Milan San-Remo winner, Britain's Mark
Cavendish (Columbia-High Road).

Drowned out by all the chest beating from the Yanks and the Poms
over their great riders, the Australians have typically have gone about
their racing business under the radar and without fanfare.


No, Australian riders aren't punching above their weight - they belong in this division.

Yes,
the season is long and Stuart O'Grady is lost for the classics but
there are a host of riders who will fly the flag right up to the World
Championships in Switzerland - who's to say they won't top the
standings at the end of the year?

How many riders? Well no less than nineteen by my rough count if you add the ProTour wild card teams Cervelo and Vacansoleil.

Wesley
Sulzberger, William Walker, Hilton Clarke, Cameron Meyer, Christopher
Sutton, Trent Lowe, Allan Davis, Mathew Hayman, Graeme Brown, Matthew
Lloyd, Cadel Evans, Michael Rogers, Mark Renshaw, Adam Hansen, Robbie
McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Brett Lancaster, Baden Cooke and Simon Gerrans.

So, who are the fast movers? Who looks to be building to a bigger future? Who has disappointed?

Graeme Brown and Allan Davis have been the standouts so far this year.


Brown has lodged five wins to date and Davis is a hot prospect for any race judging by his season so far.

Riders
like Mark Renshaw, Adam Hansen and Mathew Hayman continue to be the
best domestiques in the world, delivering their team leaders to the
pointy end of races with power and efficiency, if not style.

Others
like Cadel Evans, Michael Rogers and Simon Gerrans have their races yet
to run, building up to the Grand Tours where an Australian win is not
outside the realm of possibility.


Matthew Lloyd should produce big things in support of Cadel Evans in the
Tour de France and Will Walker will hopefully reignite his
earlier promise with a solid season for Fuji-Servetto.


Of course the list should include one of the riders of the year so far,
Inverell's Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo Test Team), who according to
rumour will return to the Australian racing fold next year after riding
under a German license for his entire career.


Disappointments? Maybe Robbie McEwen who has failed to fire, but as he
enters his sunset years injury and bad luck seem to be his biggest
opponents.


So, appetite whetted by a great start to the year, we should see quite
a few more wins notched up by a fantastic generation of riders, lets
enjoy this moment at the top.