I think you've hit the nail on the head, Omega10. Interesting fact about Michael Wilson - he was actually christened Micheal because his parents mis-placed the 'e' before the 'a'. It's but one of the small anecdotes in my book, Climbs and Punishment - Riding to Rome in the Footsteps of Hannibal, in which Wilson makes a cameo by dint of his stellar win in Cortona in 1982. And you're right - he rode in the Tour, twice in fact (I overlooked that in a comment I made earlier - apologies).
John, you make a great point and it was a huge oversight on my part. Hence the apologies and revised choices - see below!
That said, Oppy did only ride two Tours... and he apparently doped by the bucket load (if you believe his old mucker Mockridge) and so the jury is out...
There's no denying his place in the pantheon of Australian greats, mind. But like his compatriot Micheal Wilson (who excelled in the Giro in the 80s) his best performances came outside the Tour. (In Wilson's case this is certain, for he never even rode the Grande Boucle).
All the best, F.
Drum roll... the selection is in. And here is the team they came up with...
Note the notable omissions my favourite old boys Kirkham and Mockridge. On the whole, probably a stronger, more balanced squad than mine. Less sentimental and more modern. It's true, I probably overlooked Mark Renshaw somewhat...
Two riders for the general classification – Cadel Evans, Phil Anderson
Two domestiques to support general classification riders – Richie Porte, Michael Rogers
One sprinter – Robbie McEwen
Two leadout men for the sprinter – Brad McGee, Mark Renshaw
One all rounder – Simon Gerrans
One team captain – Sir Hubert Opperman