News: Froome starts season in Aussie Classic


Twice Tour de France champion Chris Froome’s start to the season begins in a race that is as much a classic in Australia as the Tour de France is to the French fans.

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News: Froome starts season in Aussie Classic

The Herald Sun Tour is Aussie’s oldest stage race and coincidentally was won by another Tour de France winner, Sir Bradley Wiggins (2009). It starts off with a twilight city centre prologue next Wednesday.


Froome will start the race with two-time British Road Race champion Peter Kennaugh along with Italian Salvatore Puccio, Colombian Sebastian Henao and and Welshman Luke Rowe; the latter finishing eighth in last year’s Paris-Roubaix.

Froome, the Kenyan-born Brit (30), said in the race’s sponsor’s newspaper, “I’m looking forward to starting my season. The Sun Tour is certainly a race I have great memories of from 2008, particularly the awesome time trial by Stuey (Stuart O’Grady), but I also have great memories of the Commonwealth Games (2006),” Froome said.

“My training has been going well and obviously I’m not in Tour de France form just yet, so it might be tough to win, but we have a strong team so I’m looking forward to racing.”

Australian rider Pat Shaw from the home state of the race, Victoria, who will compete in his ninth Herald Sun Tour for continental team Avanti IsoWhey Sports, says “nothing but great positives” would come out of Sky’s attendence in the race.


Froome, left, in the 2006 Commonwealth Games road race in Melbourne.

“They will try and control a lot until the moments that are most perfect for Froome, which does change the race a fair bit,” Shaw said. “We’re really excited about having the chance to race against him and, of course, we hope we can beat him.”

The race will see two other British teams compete as well, JLT Condor and One Pro. Both will have strong line ups with JLT Condor having already been on the top step with Chris Lawless in New Zealand whilst One Pro’s Kristian House has already celebrated a win. One Pro go into the race with Steele Von Hoff in his home race along with Brits Kristian House, Josh Hunt and Richard Handley.

The team line ups for the race yet to be confirmed by the race organisation.

Prologue: A fast 2.1km prologue starting in Federation Square and finishing at Queensbridge Square in the heart of Melbourne.
Stage 1: Race through the Yarra Valley on a 126km route starting and finishing in Healesville (great zoo here if visiting!)
Stage 2: 144km trek from Yarra Glen, through the farmlands of South Gippsland
Stage 3: Starts in Traralgon and stage three is the longest of the Tour – 146km
Stage 4: The Mornington Peninsula plays host to final battle for the yellow jersey around Arthurs Seat (climbing).



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