This year's Launceston Cycling Classic on December 27 promises to be the toughest race since its inception in 2002, with multiple track world champion and recent Australian Cyclist of the Year Cameron Meyer headlining the field with his brother and Garmin-Transitions teammate, Travis.
With sponsorship from local cycling company 'Rapid Cycling' (run by national MTB champions Rowena Fry and Ben Mather), the event will feature some of Tasmania's best cycling exports, including Wes and Bernie Sulzberger, neo-pro Will Clarke, HTC-Columbia team member Matthew Goss and best young rider at the Giro d'Italia, Richie Porte.
Aaron Kemps will also be racing for Pegasus Sports and as holder of the national criterium jersey it ensures that all three current national road champions will be present.
Australian sprinters Graeme Brown and Leigh Howard will also start the race in addition to a host of local talent from the Genesys Wealth Advisers team, which took out the 2010 National Road Series championship this year. Australian National Road Series and Scody Cup champion Pat Shaw will also ride, with former team-mates Scott Law and Michael Freiburg taking part.
Drapac Porsche will take a three-pronged attack spearheaded by former junior world champion Tom Palmer with stalwarts Stuart Shaw and David Pell in support.
The building block for the careers of riders such as Goss and Clarke, the Launceston Cycling Classic is an important part of the Australian calendar and race director Tom Sawyer is thrilled with the startlist. "The race is getting bigger every year and it's great to see so much interest from some of the Australia's best cyclists," said Sawyer.
"We'd love to see a home town winner again. Richie Porte - 'Mr People's Choice' - would look good on the honour roll. He's in good shape and we are hopeful one of the locals will claim victory."