Simon Gerrans back on top form for hilly classics
FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (VN) – After a tough first year at Team Sky, it looks like Simon Gerrans is back on top. The 30-year-old Australian finished third Sunday in the Amstel Gold Race, his first classic of the spring.
“This is my first WorldTour one-day race for the season. That’s where I’m really lacking with the kilometers in the final,” said Gerrans. “I think this will be really good for me to do those few extra kilometers at the end of the race. I think this should set me up for the next couple of races really well.”
A professional since 2005, Gerrans won the overall at the Tour Down Under in his sophomore season before ticking off stage wins at all three grand tours between 2008 and 2009. Top 10’s at each of the Ardennes classics and the world championships — behind countryman and winner Cadel Evans — came in 2009, but Gerrans suffered a down season last year that saw him under perform in the classics and leave the Tour de France with a broken arm.
“It’s quite difficult coming back to these races and not being competitive,” he said. “This is really for my team and the guys that have stuck behind me the last couple years.”
Gerrans will start La Flèche Wallonne Wednesday and Liège-Bastogne-Liège Sunday. He finished sixth, his best Ardennes result before Sunday, in 2009 at Liège.