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Tour of Gippsland route announced

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Leigh Howard (Team HTC - Columbia) wins the sprint.

Leigh Howard (Team HTC - Columbia) wins the sprint.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Tour leader Leigh Howard (Jayco/AIS) keeps an eye on stage winner Joel Pearson (Savings and Loans) on the podium.

Tour leader Leigh Howard (Jayco/AIS) keeps an eye on stage winner Joel Pearson (Savings and Loans) on the podium.
(Image credit: Shane Goss)
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Leigh Howard and Cameron Meyer (Australia) with their Madison gold medals.

Leigh Howard and Cameron Meyer (Australia) with their Madison gold medals.
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Jack Bobridge shows of his gold medal and Australian Champion's jersey

Jack Bobridge shows of his gold medal and Australian Champion's jersey
(Image credit: Cycling Australia/John Veage)
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Jack Bobridge (Australia) Under-23 World time trial Champion

Jack Bobridge (Australia) Under-23 World time trial Champion
(Image credit: Sirotti)

Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland road cycling classic organiser Caribou Productions today announced the route of the 2010 event, to be held in the Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia, July 28-August 1.

The race has traditionally served as a breeding ground for some of Australia's best cycling exports, including Garmin-Transitions pro Jack Bobridge and HTC-Columbia rider Leigh Howard in recent years.

Race director John Craven believes that will be no different this season, describing the eight-stage route as the most challenging and adventurous since the event was first held in 2006.

"Nobody flukes victory in the Tour of Gippsland," said Craven. "This year’s race will more than likely unearth another champion."

The event will start in the regional centre of Wonthaggi, before moving through Inverloch, Warragul, Noogee, Morwell, Maffra, Bruthen and Lakes Entrance.

The tour will be the opening round of the Scody Cup, which continues to grow as Australia's premier road cycling series.

The Gippsland classic will be followed by the GMHBA Tour of Geelong (August 11-15), the Elgas Tour of the Murray River (August 29-September 5) and the Caterpillar Underground Mining Tour of Tasmania (September 16-21).

Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland road cycling classic stage list:

Stage 1, July 28: Wonthaggi Criterium, 33km
Stage 2, July 28: Wonthaggi - Wonthaggi, 68.2km
Stage 3, July 29: Warragul - Warragul, 134km
Stage 4, July 30: Newborough Criterium, 36km
Stage 5, July 30: Morwell - Maffra, 85km
Stage 6, July 31: Bairnsdale Criterium, 33km
Stage 7, July 31: Bairnsdale - Lakes Entrance, 78.9 kms
Stage 8, August 1: Paynesville Criterium, 44km