Australia's only Paris-Roubaix winner Stuart O'Grady (Team CSC) and Discovery Channel's Trent Lowe will lead the Jayco Australian National Team at the 2007 Jayco Herald Sun Tour. While O'Grady is the more experienced of the duo, it will be 23 year-old Lowe wearing the number one for the squad.
Lowe, who spent his second professional season with Discovery Channel this season, is relishing the opportunity of riding alongside one of Australia's best riders. "There's nothing Stuey hasn't done, so I'm looking forward to having a beer with him at night and listening to his experiences," said Lowe who has just returned home to Melbourne after a stint in Europe. "You learn a lot from guys like him."
The 2007 Jayco Herald Sun Tour begins in Bendigo this Sunday with the Jayco Herald Sun Classic, and concludes at the Kings Domain in Melbourne on Sunday 21 October.
Lowe, a former world junior mountain bike champion, said this year's Sun Tour route should suit him. The youngster hopes he will be able to contend for the overall victory with the assistance of a strong team. "You always have to be careful over the first few stages," noted Lowe. "Last year there was a big breakaway on the second stage which blew the race apart."
"The climb to Falls Creek should suit me and I don't mind the time trial so the course sets up pretty well," he added.
Lowe has the full support of Jayco Australian team manager Dave Sanders. "He's good," Sanders told the Herald Sun. "He can climb and he can Time Trial and you don't get picked up by the likes of Discovery unless they see something a bit special.
"He's a quiet achiever, an unheralded champion in the making," Sanders added.
It will be O'Grady's first race in three months following his heavy fall on a descent during Stage 8 of this year's Tour de France. The 34 year-old fractured eight ribs, a broken shoulder, collarbone, three vertebrae, a punctured lung and a resultant blood clot on the brain in the accident that ended his Tour and threatened his career.
In addition to O'Grady, Lowe will have the support of team-mates Nick Gates, last year's runner-up Chris Jongewaard, last year's Nagambie stage winner Trent Wilson, and youngster's Joel Pearson and Patrick Shaw.