News: Racing Down Under Continues at 61st Jayco Herald Sun Tour


Aussie classic, the Sun Tour, starts Wednesday with lots of familiar names & British teams against WorldTour squads in the Aussie outback

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Starting on Wednesday, the 61st instalment of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Australia’s oldest stage race, stands poised to deliver five days of frenetic world-class racing.

Ninety six riders representing 16 teams will tackle five stages and a combined 561.5km in the saddle, vying to add their name to an honour roll that features some of Australian and world cycling’s greatest names, including 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins.

Beginning with the historic city centre prologue along Southbank Promenade, and culminating with the iconic ascent of Arthur’s Seat on the Mornington Peninsula, the Tour’s latest edition also sees the return of UCI WorldTour teams for the first time since 2011.

Spearheaded by reigning national road race and Tour Down Under champion Simon Gerrans, Orica – GreenEDGE headlines the three team’s from the elite echelon of world cycling, joined by Cannondale Pro Cycling and Garmin Sharp on the start line in Melbourne.

A two-time Jayco Herald Sun Tour champion, Gerrans will be chasing history this week seeking to become the first man to win the triple crown of national road race championship, Tour Down Under, and Jayco Herald Sun Tour titles in the one year, while also vying to become only the fourth man in the race’s history to win the overall title on three or more occasions.

2013_GerransWinsPais VascoStage1

“Growing up in country Victoria, the Jayco Herald Sun Tour is probably the first race I ever saw. I remember skipping classes at school to go and stand on the roadside to watch the race go by,” said Gerrans (above).

“It’s no secret that the Sun Tour is an important race for ORICA-GreenEDGE and we will be racing to win. When asked if he could win it for the third time he said “It’s not going to be easy, I have a really strong team but with the strength of the international field it’s not going to be easy.”

Only Victorian cycling immortal Barry Waddell (five times – 1964-68), 1972 Olympian and now race director John Trevorrow (three times – 1975, 1977, 1979) and Tasmanian Graham McVilly (three times – 1971, 1973-74) have won the prestigious stage race on at least three occasions.

Standing in Gerrans way will be 2011 Jayco Herald Sun Tour champion Nathan Haas and his powerful Garmin Sharp team that includes former Tour of Romandie and Tirreno-Adriatico champion Thomas Dekker (Netherlands).

The 29-year-old Dutchman Dekker is the oldest member of the Garmin squad, that also features 2014 Australian criterium champion Steele Von Hoff and three-time under 23 national champion and Olympic silver medallist (track) Rohan Dennis.

Both time-trial specialists, Dekker and Dennis will be ones to watch in the 2.5 kilometre battle against the clock through the streets of Melbourne. Comprising six riders from six nations, Cannondale ProCycling Team provides the other dominant WorldTour presence in the field, with dual Tour of Quebec champion Guillaume Boivan (Canada) touted as their best prospect for a stage victory.

The Italian team’s line-up also includes emerging 19-year-old Slovakian star Matej Mohoric – who pipped prodigious Australian speedster Caleb Ewan for gold at the 2012 U23 world championship road race – former Austrian road race champion Matthias Krizek, and workhorse Australian and former Olympic rower Cameron Wurf.


In there as well will be the Rapha Condor JLT team with a mix of sprinters who will be vying for stage wins (English and Opie) and overall contenders when the road goes upwards. The team is: Hugh Carthy, Mike Cuming, Richard Handley, Chris Opie, Felix English and Tom Moses.

The race will also see a Great Britain team. There is confusion over just who as the website lists Russell Downing who many will have seen fast asleep on a plane back to the UK yesterday! So the team as we understand will be Chris Latham, Ollie Wood, Germain Burton, Jacob Ragan, Christopher Lawless, and Scott Davies who rides for Madison Genesis this season.

The race features three WorldTour teams are expected to feature prominently, a further four national teams (Australia, Australian U23, Great Britain, New Zealand) and nine continental teams are also included in the 16 team strong line-up, featuring riders from 15 nations.

Other riders of note to look out for (if the race website is correct) is Jack Bauer and Tom Scully, both Kiwis with Bauer having been a very popular rider when he raced in Britain and Scully likewise racing for Madison Genesis in 2014 after a season with Raleigh. Lachlan Norris who rode for Raleigh in 2013, rides the Sun Tour as does another former Raleigh rider Mark OBrien. Rico Rogers who spent a season here also rides as does a winner in the Tour Series, Darren Lapthorne.

Jayco Herald Sun Tour
Wednesday, 5 to Sunday, 9 February 2014

Prologue – Wednesday, 5 February – Southbank, Melbourne ITT
Stage 1 – Thursday, 6 February – Geelong to Ballarat
Stage 2 – Friday, 7 February – Ballarat to Bendigo
Stage 3 – Saturday, 8 February – Mitchelton Winery to Nagambie
Stage 4 – Sunday, 9 February – Arthurs Seat, Mornington Peninsula


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