A new event has bolstered Victoria's warm-up to the winter cycling season with the inaugural Anchor Point Tour of the South West set to take place on the last weekend of April.
Set over three stages and two days, the tour will be a challenging one with the tough and hilly terrain of the city of Warrnambool and rural townships of the Moyne Shire.
The tour is the first of its kind for the south-west, complementing the iconic Melbourne to Warrnambool and Shipwreck Coast cycling classics, as well as Australia's oldest stage race, The Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
Endorsed by Cycling Victoria, the event is open to all cyclists who hold a current Cycling Australia racing membership.
search2retain cycling team director, Peter Shandon said the team had enjoyed great success racing in the region over the past few years, with Luke Fetch placing third in The Eastern Oak Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic in 2011. search2retain are confirmed starters for the Anchor Point Tour of the South West.
"We always enjoy racing in the area," Shandon said.
Team manager Mark Isaacs said he has fond memories of racing in Warrnambool and that the region always provided great local support. He said search2retain had put together a really strong team and that riders were all looking forward to the event.
The first stage will begin from the Wangoom Recreation Reserve, with riders completing a 30km return course and 17km circuit with short but tough climbs and likely 'Warrnambool winds'.
It will be followed be an undulating 12.7km individual time trial circuit, sure to prove decisive in determining the overall tour winner in each division.
The third and final stage – the Optus Criterium - will be the queen stage of the tour presenting a challenging course around the Hopkins River, sure to provide an exciting finale.
Registrations for the tour are now open at www.tourofthesouthwest.com.au target="_blank". Entries Close April 22.