The power and the glory

Robert Power salutes the crowd as he crosses the line to win the Gran Premio Capodarco in Italy last month.
Robert Power salutes the crowd as he crosses the line to win the Gran Premio Capodarco in Italy last month.

The Midland Cycling Club member and 2012 Tour de Kalamunda champion, currently on his first trip to Europe to compete in major cycling classics, confirmed his huge potential with not one but two big-race wins in Italy last month.

The young rider made a great start in his debut on the Continent when he finished third in the 180km Trofeo PIVA Banca Popolare di Vicenza road race in Col San Martino on April 6.

He has steadily built on that to now be ranked as one of the leading under-23 riders in the world.

Power backed up his initial success with a second in the G.P. Palio del Recioto in Negrar in late April before stepping it up a gear with a solid seventh in the Czech Cycling Tour in July.

But it was last month that he graduated to top of the class n Europe’s elite cycling ranks with brilliant victories in the Gran Premio Sportivi di Poggiana (August 10) and the Gran Premio Capodarco six days later.

After his first major success, Italian cycling website Tutto bici web headlined his deeds with ‘The Australian Power annihilates everyone’.

Power also received the Most Aggressive rider award.

Then, racing for the first time in France against the best under-23 riders in the world, Power finished runner-up in the prestigious, eight-day Tour de l’Avenir in the French Alps that finished last Saturday.

It was the first time an Australian rider had stepped on to the winner’s podium in the classic.

He finished second in the Mountains Classification and fourth in the Points Classification.

Cycling Australia under-23 coach James Victor said Power has all the attributes to make it big on the European professional stage.

‘He showed his composure and unlimited potential for the future as a major Tour Contender ” and he’s still only 19 years old,’ Victor said.

‘Most young cyclists don’t get the chance to venture into the French Alps to race over some of the most arduous and spectacular mountains normally only experienced during the Tour de France.

‘Australia’s only GC podium in the Tour de l’Avenir says it all,’ he said.