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Aaron Donnelly (Team Jayco Skins) in action during the 36km criterium in Ouyen.
Australian race gains new three-year commitment
Organisers have announced the Jayco Herald Sun Tour will return in October next year after skipping the 2010 edition to make way for the UCI Road World Championships also being staged in Victoria, Australia. In January the race had pushed to move the event to February next year, allowing it to take advantage of teams in Australia for Tour Down Under, however the move faced resistance from the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The race’s 59th edition will be staged from 9-15, subject to UCI approval, and has a renewed three year commitment from the Victorian Government and the Herald Sun. Organisers have assured that the race will feature three of the world’s top teams in 2011.
UCI President Pat McQuaid praised the efforts of the Victorian Government and their commitment to world class events. “The Victorian government is a big supporter of cycling and Melbourne has hosted an impressive range of UCI events, culminating with the UCI World Road Championships this week,” he said. “As part of its strategy, the UCI is committed to developing strong events around the world.
“I trust that we will be able to assist the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, one of the pillars of the UCI Oceania Tour, in becoming an even bigger and better race,” he added.
While the course is yet to be announced it will start in Williamston and finish in Lygon Street, Carlton. Organisers expect the Tour course to visit four regional towns in 2011.
Simon Gerrans (Team Sky) described the race as an important introduction to cycling, which lead to an already successful career for the Grand Tour stage winner. “The Jayco Herald Sun Tour has been an important race in developing the careers of Australian cyclists over the years,” he said. “When I was coming through the ranks, it was always a race that I was able to target and use to test myself against an international field. Then later on I was able to be more competitive and win on two occasions.”
“Watching the Jayco Herald Sun Tour coming through my home town of Mansfield when I was a kid really inspired me to have a go at cycling and I hope that the tradition of the Tour can continue to inspire kids taking up the sport like it did for me,” Gerrans said.