News – Boost for Aussie SunTour


A race won by Bradley Wiggins and ridden by many a Brit, the classic Sun Tour in Australia has received a sponsorship boost from the State government

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News – Boost for Aussie SunTour

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Twilight city prologue returns to kick start 2015 Tour
A new three year partnership between the Victorian Government and the Jayco Herald Sun Tour is a major boost for the Australian Classic which has been running far longer than the Tour Down Under.

The Jayco Herald Sun Tour honour roll features the likes of 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins, Paris-Roubaix winner Stuart O’Grady, Tour de France Green Jersey champion Baden Cooke and stage winner Simon Gerrans. Other Brits to taste success in the race include winners Malcolm Elliott and Dave Mann whilst Dean Downing has been on the podium for stages and the John Herety has taken his team to the race a few times.

The 2015 event will be staged from Wednesday 4th to Sunday 8th February, as the climax to an exciting summer of cycling Down Under. “The Jayco Herald Sun Tour is one of the highlights of Victoria’s world renowned major events calendar and this year will feature such iconic places as Mt Macedon, the historic goldfields around Bendigo, and the Mornington Peninsula,” the State Premier Dr Napthine said.

Tom Salom, chairman of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour organising committee, said the event will aim to build on the momentum created during last year’s event, and also confirmed that Jayco will return as the event naming rights sponsor in 2015.

“Last year with a new date and an opening prologue in the city centre (Melbourne) the event reached new heights. In 2015, we aim to build further on those foundations with the strong support of the Victorian Government, with Jayco back on board as a co-naming rights sponsor, and the continued recognition as a UCI 2.1 level event,” Salom said.

“The ‘Sun Tour’ has been part of our (Australia’s) DNA for over 60 years. It has created new generations of Australian cycling champions and is unique in that it combines the best international riders with the best teams and riders in Australia which contributes significantly to the development of our rising cycling stars,” Salom added.

Jayco’s Gerry Ryan surprised even the event organisers announcing that the Jayco sponsorship, originally set for one year, will match the term of the Victorian Government funding. “I am very proud today to announce not only will we be the sponsors for 2015, but we also extend our sponsorship for the next three years,” Ryan announced.

In another major boost to the event, Australian team ORICA-GreenEDGE is confirmed to take part in the Tour, with two riders who have made their mark on the event set to join the peloton – 2014 Australian national champion and UCI road world championships silver medallist Simon Gerrans and 2014 Jayco Herald Sun Tour winner Simon Clarke.

Gerrans has recently enjoyed his best UCI world tour to date finishing the season ranked third in the world. The 2005 and 2006 Jayco Herald Sun Tour winner said despite a busy schedule there are multiple reasons he continues to compete in the race. “It’s a fantastic way of setting up my European season, to start the year in good shape off the back of some great racing in Australia,” Gerrans said.

“This is where I came from and this is where it all started for me. I think it’s important to give back to these races and give these young kids and cycling fans that watch us every year on the television the opportunity to see us in the flesh and see what we do,” Gerrans said.

The 34-year-old will be joined by fellow Victorian Simon Clarke, who alongside his 2014 Jayco Herald Sun Tour victory boasts an individual stage win at the Vuelta a España. The remaining riders in the ORICA-GreenEDGE team will be announced in the coming months.

Clarke said the twilight prologue catering to people finishing their work day is a great way to start the 2015 route. “The idea of a twilight start in the city centre, getting all the people just knocking off work to stop by to have a look is a great idea. To put the cycling to the people and showcase professional cyclists to the people of Melbourne is great,” Clarke said.

Clarke was confident he could repeat his 2014 efforts and defend his title despite the added pressure of being the defending champion. “Defending a title is always a bit of extra pressure, but we have a great team with ORICA-GreenEDGE and we will field another good team and we will be ready to defend,” Clarke said.

2015 Jayco Herald Sun Tour route announced
Southbank Promenade will provide cycling fans with the ideal vantage point to watch the finish of the opening 2.1km prologue of Victoria’s oldest stage race, the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. Kicking off on Wednesday 4th February, riders will commence the individual time trial starting on the stage at Federation Square.

With 25,000 spectators lining the streets in 2014, the twilight prologue will bring world class cycling to the centre of the city, finishing along the Southbank Promenade at Queensbridge Square. The Tour then moves to regional Victoria for the longest stage of the Tour, the 152km stage one journey from Mount Macedon, passing Hanging Rock before finishing in the heartland of Victorian cycling, Bendigo.

Stage two is a shorter 120km route taking riders from the Bendigo Velodrome, passing the Heathcote-Graytown National Park before crossing the Goulburn River into Nagambie. The 148km stage three route, on Saturday 7th February, showcases the Nagambie Lakes Wineries as riders loop around Mitchelton Winery, where the stage will begin before heading back to Nagambie.

The final 125km stage will return to the popular Arthurs Seat on the Mornington Peninsula, with a record crowd expected following the cancellation of the stage last year due to extreme weather. This stage features a three lap circuit of the gruelling climb, with a mountain top finish to play an important role in determining the Tour winner.
Prologue – Wednesday 4th February – Melbourne Southbank – 2.1km
Stage 1 – Thursday 5th February – Mt Macedon to Bendigo – 152km
Stage 2 – Friday 6th February – Bendigo to Nagambie – 120km
Stage 3 – Saturday 7th February – Mitchelton Winery to Nagambie – 148km
Stage 4 – Sunday 8th February – Arthurs Seat Finale – 125km

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