The 16th Tour of the Murray River starts on Sunday in Yarrawonga, marking the sixth event in the Australian National Road Series. Over 15 stages, and 847.3km the riders will work their way West along Australia’s longest river system until the traditional end in Mildura the following Sunday.
The 2011 field features the return of Jonathon Cantwell (V Australia) who will race in Australia for the first time since taking part in the Tour Down Under in January. Cantwell has enjoyed success in the Tour of the Murray River in the past, winning four stages en-route to the overall win in 2009. He will join a V Australia team that showed in Geelong with Scott Law and Ben Kersten that the ‘orange-train’ of Genesys Wealth Advisers can be beaten.
That said, Genesys have to be considered favourites in the battle between the two teams. Though without Series leader Nathan ‘Haassasin’ Haas, the team still has plenty of options. Last year’s Tour of the Murray River winner Joel Pearson will team up with Steele Von Hoff, Pat Shaw, Anthony Giacoppo and Nic Sanderson – all of whom are capable of winning races in their own right.
Von Hoff particularly has been almost unbeatable in 2011. The 23-year-old has taken 10 stage victories in NRS races, including two in Geelong where V Australia and the Jayco-AIS squads fielded strong teams.
The battle between Cantwell and Von Hoff is a mouth watering proposition but also look for riders like Peter Herzig (Budget Forlifts), Darren Lapthorne (Drapac), Luke Davison (Swan Hill), and Ed Bissaker (Jayco-AIS) to feature in the eight-day event.
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Alex Hinds, Production Editor
Alex Hinds is a graduate of Economics and Political Science from Sydney University. Growing up in the metropolitan area of the city he quickly became a bike junkie, dabbling in mountain and road riding. Alex raced on the road in his late teens, but with the time demands of work and university proving too much, decided not to further pursue full-time riding.
If he was going to be involved in cycling in another way the media seemed the next best bet and jumped at the opportunity to work in the Sydney office of Cyclingnews when an offer arose in early 2011.
Though the WorldTour is of course a huge point of focus throughout the year, Alex also takes a keen interest in the domestic racing scene with a view to helping foster the careers of the next generation of cycling.
When not writing for Cyclingnews Alex is a strong proponent of the awareness of cyclists on the road in Sydney having had a few close run-ins with city traffic in the past.
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