Revamped format for Jayco-Herald Sun Tour

The 54th Jayco-Herald Sun Tour, a UCI 2.1 stage race, will be run between October 9-15 in Victoria, Australia. With new organisers this year, the race route has been redesigned following feedback from Australia's top riders. The aim was to create a seven day tour with a single stage per day, building in intensity towards the finish. Tour director Michael Hands believes he has done that.

"We have also 'borrowed' some of the hallmarks of the great European cycling events, including a team time trial to open the tour, an arduous uphill individual time trial and public participation events to broaden the connection between the elite cyclists and the weekend warrior who can only dream of chasing the yellow jersey in a major tour," said Hands. "We have magnificent support from our tour partners and supporters including the Herald Sun, Jayco, Regional Development Victoria, and VicHealth through the Go for your Life campaign, we are confident that his year's event will excite the riders and fans."

Public events planned

This year's Jayco-Herald Sun Tour will include a Gran Fondo, a cycling tradition in Italy. Gran Fondos are designed for both the serious and recreational rider, and some of the great names of cycling have their own Gran Fondo, such as the Fausto Coppi Gran Fondo, the Pinarello Gran Fondo and the Campagnolo Gran Fondo. The Jayco-Herald Sun Tour features the Go for your Life Gran Fondo, which will be staged on Thursday, October 13 in the Yarra Valley, covering the same roads as the fifth and hardest road stage of the race. It starts and finishes in Healesville, and takes in vineyards, forests, demanding climbs and descents.

But wait, there's more. Stage 6 is an individual time trial up Mt Dandenong, from the start in Monbulk to the finish at SkyHigh Mount Dandenong. Before the pro riders take off on what may be the deciding stage of the race, the 11 km course will be open to any rider who wants to tackle Melbourne's most famous climb. In the style of a fun run or an Alpine Dash for Cash, this is a mass start, winner-take-all dash up the mountain. The first male and the first female rider will each take home $1,000.

TV coverage

Network Ten will be the official broadcaster of the 2005 Jayco-Herald Sun Tour. Each night a news highlights package of each stage will be sent to all news rooms around Australia with extended race highlights each night on Network Ten's Sports Tonight. The final stage of the Tour - the Lygon Street criterium - will be broadcast live on Network Ten around Australia on Saturday, October 15. A one hour highlights program will be produced for international distribution.

In addition, Win TV is currently filming a one hour documentary – Leading the Tour. Hosted by Win TV presenter Cameron Best and featuring Giro D'Italia stage winner and last year's tour runner-up David McKenzie, the show will preview the Tour, traveling around Victoria to look at the race and the regions through which the event will pass in 2005. Leading the Tour is scheduled to go to air on Win TV around Australia at 5.00pm on Saturday, October 8.

The stages

Stage 1 - October 9: Williamstown - Team Time Trial, 6km
Stage 2 - October 10: Bendigo - Bendigo (via Maldon and Castlemaine), 155km
Stage 3 - October 11: Bendigo - Shepparton, 154km
Stage 4 - October 12: Mitchelton Winery (Nagambie) - Marysville, 155km
Stage 5 - October 13: Healesville - Healesville, 140km
Stage 6 - October 14: Monbulk - Mt Dandenong ITT, 10.5km
Stage 7 - October 15: Lygon St Criterium

More information:

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