Retiring professional cyclist and one of three new directors at Slipstream for 2008, Matt White, is expecting the competition to be fierce for the AUS $50,000 on offer this weekend at the South Bank Grand Prix in Noosa, Queensland. "The hotdog circuit is tough and 50 minutes going for it makes for a very hard race," the previous winner of the event told Cyclingnews.
With such a big prize purse on offer, it is no wonder that the cream of Australian cycling talent is heading to the Queensland Holiday town of Noosa to try and steal the glory. World class sprinters, the caliber of Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Baden Cooke, Jimmy Casper and two time winner of the event, Alan Davis will be hoping that they can keep the strong field together so that they can unleash their powerful sprints to take the winner-takes-all prize.
"A break may be able to stay away and win, like when I won a few years back, but it's a fast race, and with the sprinters there it will be hard, they will obviously want it to come down to a bunch kick," White explained.
Team tactics will also play a part in the race. McEwen will have devoted domestique Nick Gates at his side, while the Unibet.com squad will have recent Sun Tour winner Matt Wilson lining up with 2003 Tour de France green jersey winner Baden Cooke, along with two more than competent sprinters in Jeremy Hunt and Jimmy Casper who have been enjoying the Australian sun since the Sun Tour ended 10 days ago. Whatever the outcome, White believes that the race will be a huge attraction during the weekend of sport in Noosa. "It's always an exciting race," he concluded.
Saturday's event marks the beginning of a series of high profile criteriums in Queensland, culminating in the Australian Criterium Championships being held in Brisbane on December 2.
For more information on the event as well as the Grand Prix of Cycling, click here .