The time is ripe for corporate Australia to show GreenEDGE the money, writes Anthony Tan in Adelaide.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:37 PM

Gerry Ryan says his investment in GreenEDGE is "the biggest commitment I've ever made in sports".

Following Simon Gerrans' victory at the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under, his investment has, at least metaphorically speaking, turned a profit.

"For us, as an Aussie team to win here, it's huge … it's huge," GreenEDGE sport director at the TDU Matthew White said.

"It's great for Gerry, great for everyone. We're looking for a sponsor. It's one thing selling an idea – now we've become a team. And now we're a successful team."

There could have been no other winner. Gerrans was the best rider in the race.
Afterwards, he told me that never has he been in such good condition at this time of year. He understood the importance of not just securing the national road championship, but also the first WorldTour race on home soil – then established a game plan to give himself the best possible chance of winning both.

Those unforgiving, unrelenting kilometres he accrued in the off-season, rain, hail or shine, paid off big-time.

Last Saturday, when we saw him ascend like an angel with the unrepentant Alejandro Valverde up Old Willunga Hill, perhaps he was the only one not surprised at his climbing prowess, going toe-to-toe with someone who once beat Lance Armstrong to the ski resort of Courchevel at the 2005 Tour de France.

Coupled with selfless teamwork and clever tactics by White, GreenEDGE now head to Europe with two out of two boxes ticked and a not insignificant weight of expectation off their shoulders.

It's therefore now time for prospective Australian sponsors to step up.

In their maiden voyage, there will only be one year, one time, and one place, where they can become part of this intoxicatingly stirring history-making process, as the GreenEDGE posse head inexorably closer to the month of July and a ground-breaking start at La Grande Boucle.

Said Ryan: "One thing about Australians… That Aussie spirit – even though we're an international team, Australian licence – you can't beat that Aussie spirit and guts."

Surely, that counts for something. Surely, that's worth backing.

C'mon, corporate Australia, we need you, because now more than ever, it's time to lend GreenEDGE a helping hand.

"I'm sure I will get the success (from my investment) long-term," said Ryan.
Let's hope he's right.

Twitter: @anthony_tan