Tasmanian Bernard Sulzberger will be racing the Tour of the Murray river this year. The 24 year-old is having a real good chance of winning the event. Racing in the United States has been a good preparation for Sulzberger.
Sulzberger was delighted that the Swan Hill region is back in the race. Sulzberger, 24, currently racing in America with his Virgin Blue team, won the Swan Hill–Manangatang stage when the tour last visited Mallee headquarters in 2005. "Naturally, I have pretty happy memories of Swan Hill," Sulzberger said after just completing a 100-kilometre criterium in Milwaukee, where team-mate, Queenslander David Kemp, finished third. "I'd love to win the Tour of the Murray, and the way I've been racing in America I reckon I've got a real chance."
Sulzberger won the overall in the 2005 Murray River event to promising Victorian Simon Clarke. Both Clarke and Sulzberger are tipped to be in the next batch of young Australian road cyclists to gain Tour de France selection.
Sulzberger, from Flowery Gully in Tasmania's north, emerged as a cycling talent when he won the Sid Patterson rider-of-the-future award in the 2002 Tattersall's Cup series.
His ability went on display again with a third placing in the 2007 Tour of Tasmania, beaten only by the amazing West Australian teenage brothers Cameron and Travis Meyer.
Cameron will represent Australia at the Beijing Olympic Games and Travis will do battle again with Sulzberger in the Tour of the Murray.
Sulzberger has recorded five minor placings in Chicago and Milwaukee in the past two weeks and has revelled in the intensity of the racing in the United States.
Sulzberger and Kemp will contest the Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland from July 30 – August 3, then the Australian Cycling Grand Prix at Ballarat from August 15 – 17.
One of his prime aims is to win the Scody Cup (formerly the Tattersall's Cup) which operates on an accumulative points system for Gippsland, Ballarat, Murray River and the Tour of Tasmania from September 30 – October 5.
"I'm going to have a real crack at the Scody Cup," he said. "My brother Wes won it in 2006, and I'd like my name up there too because the cup series has terrific prestige attached to it."