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Aussie national champion favourite for Tour of the Southern Grampians

Darren Lapthorne (Drapac Porsche) gives his all

Darren Lapthorne (Drapac Porsche) gives his all (Image credit: Shane Goss)

Reigning Australian Road Race Champion Darren Lapthorne will be odds on favourite for this weekend's Great Doherty Tour of the Southern Grampians, in Victoria Australia. The fourth running of the event has received a record number of entries, with some 256 riders expected to take on the event in Coleraine.

The 2007 event will feature some new stages, including the Bendigo Community Bank time trial and the Coleraine CBD Criterium.

Former event winners Mark O'Brien and defending champion Jason Hegert will be among those contesting this year's event. Also lining up for the tour is a five-strong Drapac-Porsche team, Victorian Institute of Sport riders and the Savings & Loans Credit Union team. Commonwealth Games champion Sean Finning will make his debut at this tour.

In the women's category, defending champion Deborah Fagg returns to try and make it two in a row, but will be strongly challenged by the likes of Peta Mullens and Kathy Watt. The women's field has a record 20 riders in 2007.

All races will begin from the Community Parklands adjacent the old Railway Station Tourist Centre, McConochie St, Coleraine.