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Tough conditions for fifth National Road Series event
The Australian National Road Series continues with the five-day, nine-stage Tour of the Great South Coast in Victoria. The event is stop five on the NRS calendar, and the second event of the Scody Cup.
The Tour of The Great South Coast is headlined by new NRS leader Will Walker (Drapac) with Scody Cup co-leader Luke Davison (Budget Forklifts) in hot pursuit. Also keen to make an impact will be Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys Wealth Advisers) who, at two points in arrears of the pair, will be chasing the overall win which slipped from his grasp at the Tour of Gippsland.
The winner of The Tour of The Great South Coast will be a rider who can handle the conditions with many of the stages subject to the elements whipped up by the Great Southern Ocean. The five-day tour is light on climbs but what it's lacking there, the wind will more than make up for.
Day one with a 40km criterium and a 74.3km road race into a likely north-westerly wind that's sure to end in the bunch sprint won't give too much away in terms of who will prevail overall. Thursday's fourth stage, a 92.7km road race between Heywood and Casterton with eight KOMs should see the start of the overall selection emerge.
Stage five, a 40km criterium around Port Fairy's Southcombe Park will be tough due to exposed position and followed by a 60km gradual uphill road race, the day will prove pivotal to the overall.
The penultimate day of racing kicks off with yet another exposed criterium before the longest road stage of the tour at 102.9km. It's going to be fast and the peloton can expect a likely tailwind for the majority of the stage so if one of the bigger teams wants to put the pressure on to shore-up GC, the bunch is going to get strung out before coming back to a bunch sprint.
The Tour of the Great South Coast wraps up with six laps of a 15.6km loop of the climbs used in the Melbourne to Warrnambool with plenty of action expected.