The Timbercorp Tour of the Murray route has been announced for 2008. The event runs from August 31 to September 7. The event is comprised of 14 stages. Almost every day the riders will have two stages to tackle.
The tour starts in Echua, with a short criterium. The race goes over a total distance of 857 kilometres. A staggering 133 sprints will be fought out by the peloton. The hill climbing is less sever, with only nine KOM's long the route to Mildura.
Last year, Peter McDonald won the overall classification.
The Murray River Tour will gain elevated status this year as one of five events on Cycling Australia's new national teams series.
Competitors will be grouped together in teams of up to seven riders. Cycling Australia's chief executive officer Graham Fredericks described the teams competition as the most exciting innovation to be introduced into Australian domestic road cycling for many years.
"Teams racing will help prepare young cyclists for major overseas events like the Tour de France and will also provide added incentives for sponsors to capitalise on involvement in this booming sport," the Sydney-based Mr. Fredericks said.
Mr. Fredericks also praised Swan Hill councilors for their initiative in hosting the Murray River Tour, which started out as a three-day event in the Sunraysia region in 1996.
"It is most pleasing that Swan Hill is re-included in the tour itinerary," he said. "I am sure the stages in Swan Hill, Manangatang and Robinvale will be wonderful spectacles."