It might be the environment I work and live in, but am I right in saying that many more sports followers are talking the cycling language these days?
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

I mean, the chatter and discussion over the selection of Australia's men's road race team for Geelong has been akin to the lead-up of the announcement for our national cricket team prior to an Ashes tour or (in my case here at SBS), the release for the Socceroos squad before a huge World Cup showdown.

There was a time when I could only dream of discussing the intricacies of the ProTour and the world names involved in cycling's Grand Tours and European Spring Classics.

When I first started covering professional cycling as a journalist, few of Australia's mainstream public understood this, let alone became familiar with the names associated with it.

It's been several days since the final selection for Geelong was announced, but still the arguments rage.

While some observers scratch their heads over the omissions of Mark Renshaw and Robbie McEwen, others are prepared to express their passionate opinions on the reasons why the "final nine" are either the right or wrong choices.

And there's the argument on whether the course is suitable for climbers, sprinters or both.

They might ask why Germany can bank on a rider like Andrei Greipel for the rainbow jersey, while Australia chooses Matt Goss as its lone specialist sprinter.

In the eyes of the Australian selection panel, the best riders have been picked what for will be a very difficult job.

The depth of Australian cycling is such at the moment that one of three different combinations could have been named and I'm sure all would have been capable of doing the job at hand.

All that is irrelevant in terms of the point of this blog.

The question I ask is: has cycling finally broken a mould and become a mainstream sport in a country obsessed by the various football codes and cricket?

Judging by the pub talk of recent days and general discussions among my circle of colleagues and friends - I'd like to think so.

My wish now is for the two-wheeled sport to be etched into our sporting culture for 12 months of the year and not just when international events such as the world titles or the Tour de France are held.

Is that a vivid possibility or am I still dreaming?