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by Sophie Smith
April 21, 2016
Photography by Cor Vos
Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) has speculated on his Rio Olympic objectives ahead of a trip to South America with compatriot Richie Porte (BMC) and Cycling Australia management next month.
Gerrans outlined his intentions to make a career third Olympic appearance at the beginning of the year and will soon determine his capacity for the 256.4km elite men’s road race.
The role he may play if selected will be influenced by the design of the course, which the 35-year-old will reconnoitre with Porte and Cycling Australia elite men’s road director Brad McGee during the upcoming excursion to Rio.
“I think once I see the course I’ll have a much better idea of whether it’s something I think I’m going to be able to get a result in, or whether I’ll go in a support role of one of our better climbers that we have in Australia – a Richie Porte or someone like that,” Gerrans said.
“It’s still uncertain how many guys we’re going to take specifically for the road race so I think it’s all going to come together quite late. But as far as my ambitions for the race, it’s either going to be to go for a result myself or do whatever I can to support one of our climbers to get to the finish in the front.”
Gerrans is in the midst of an Ardennes Classics campaign that will conclude with Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday, an event the 2014 champion has designs on. Porte is also due to start the 252km race and see if he can go the distance in what the Tasmanian has dubbed a Rio test event.
“I’m in a pretty busy period at the moment with the Ardennes,” said Gerrans. “I go straight on to Romandie after Liege-Bastogne-Liege and that bookends this second period of the year for me. Then, it’s all about building up for the summer and the next key period with the [Criterium du] Dauphine, Tour de France and hopefully the Olympic Games.”
Gerrans entered both the Beijing Olympics and London 2012 on the back of the Tour de France and emphasised the importance of pre-Tour preparation in regard to getting form right for Rio.
“I’ve put my hand up to go to the Olympic Games and hopefully I make selection, which is late June so it’s quite late and quite close to the Tour de France,” he said.
Sophie Smith is an experienced journalist and television reporter for Australia and UK press. She was roped into the 2010 UCI Road World Championships and has specialised in pro cycling since. She lived in London for two years and has travelled all over the world covering the sport. You can follow Sophie on Twitter at @SophieSmith86.