Why Are the Aussies So Good?

by CyclingTips

What I want to know is why have the Australians become such successful cyclists over the past few years? Look at the photo above.  Three quarters of the jerseys in the Giro are held by Aussies.  Mick Rogers just won the ATOC.  That’s pure domination of Professional Cycling over the month of May.

These guys are not at any physiologically advantage.  They probably don’t “want it” anymore than any other nationality does.  Is it because of the AIS and the state development structures in place?  Is it the competitive local race scene we have that enables these guys to jump to the next level?  Is it the doors that have been opened and opportunities provided by past generations of Aussie pros?   Do they simply have a stronger work ethic than other nations?  Perhaps a combination of all these things?   What do you think contributes to the outstanding success Australian cyclists have been enjoying?

Anyway, a few interesting notes on a relatively uneventful Giro stage that I read on Velonews this morning:

Tuft fine: UCI officials told VeloNews that the reason that Garmin-Transitions was fined 2,500 Swiss francs in Tuesday’s climbing time trial was simple: Canadian TT champion Svein Tuft simply forgot his time trial jersey. Tuft said he placed the jersey in a luggage that traveled with the team’s second truck and it wasn’t available for the stage. The UCI said they could have fined the team up to 5,000 Swiss francs for the infraction, but said they chose to impose the minimum ban for the slip-up. The team has the right to appeal the ban. Tuft said he’ll be sure to wear the jersey in Sunday’s TT in Verona.

Garzelli’s numbers: La Gazzetta dello Sport published some interesting numbers from Tuesday’s climbing time trial up Plan de Corones. Stage-winner Stefano Garzelli won the stage 1:02 slower than 2008 stage-winner Franco Pellizotti, who was prevented from racing this year’s Giro after questions with his biological passport. Garzelli’s VAM (vertical ascent per meters in hour) was 1,558 meters/hour. Pellizotti climbed Corones with a VAM of 1,620m/h in 2008.

Gavia snow?: Forecasters are calling for nasty weather this weekend which could put the Gavia summit in danger in Saturday’s penultimate stage. The Gavia tops out at 2,618m and could see significant amount of snowfall. If that’s the case, organizers are already look at alternative routes, most likely passage over the Mortirolo climb, at 1,854m, scheduled for Friday’s stage.

Damien Monier takes the win. He was the best of the 19-rider break that spent 125km ahead of the peloton

No one in the GC was letting each other out of their sight

Good thing you have that trophy to cover things up Gilberto!

Arroyo still in Pink and no significant changes to GC.


(curated by Sam, our trivia master)


1. Out of the 92 Giro’s held, Italians have won 65 of them. Which is the next best country with 7?

2. Name a Pro Team not invited to the Giro by organisers this year?

a) Radio Shack,

b)Francaise de Jeux


3. Gilberto Simoni tested positive for Cocaine in the 2002 Giro and reportedly blamed his Aunt for giving him some Columbian sweets (according to UK magazine Cycle Sport, although there are alternative stories that he blamed his dentist). His Aunt is married to an Italian former champion cyclist, who was the Giro winner in 1984 and has 23 Giro stage wins to his name, as well as being world champion in 1977, 3 times winner of Paris-Roubaix and beat Eddie Merckx’s hour record in 1984. What is his name (hint: initials FM)?

Bonus Question:  Why is Gilberto Simoni up on the podium in the photo above?

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