Right now the Aussies are lighting up the boards at the Junior (Under 19) World Track Championships in Glasgow.
Caleb Ewan, 19, continues to impress in Europe and is surely the next Aussie road superstar (if he isn’t already). Just watch the chequebooks get waved in his face when the WorldTour comes calling.
23-year old Michael ‘Bling’ Matthews (Orica GreenEDGE) is flying in Utah this week with a Sagan-esque two stage wins from four so far.
While 21-year old countryman Lachlan Morton (Garmin-Sharp) took the overall race lead in Utah from Matthews with a superb solo win in stage 3 and retained it in this morning’s stage 4 around Salt Lake City.
2013 has also seen watershed senior results for Luke Durbridge (22), Rohan Dennis (23) and Steele von Hoff (25).
And let’s not forget the heroics in Paris-Nice and the TdF from Richie Porte, at just 28 the ‘oldest’ of Aussie cycling’s generation next.
Long gone are the days where one or two riders had to carry the entire weight of a nation’s expectation. Which thankfully means so too are the days when the transgressions of one or two errant riders could threaten to bring down the whole sport in this country.
Australian road cycling has grown up a lot in the last decade. It’s a more robust – and quality laden – beast than ever before. Which given recent revelations (and, let’s be honest here, the likelihood of more to come) is probably just as well.
At a time when it would be easy enough to look back with gloom and despair, these exciting young riders make it easy to instead look forward with genuine excitement and optimism.
I’m loving it.