Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Herald Sun Tour 2011

Wed 12 Oct Whittlesea to Ballarat Road Race

Thu 13 Oct Ballarat to Geelong Road Race

Fri 14 Oct Geelong to Drysdale Road Race

Sat 15 Oct Sorrento to Arthurs Seat Road Race

Sun 16 Oct Lygon St, Carlton Circuit Race

Wednesday is the opening stage and a rolling course from Whittlesea to Ballarat will not only travel through the stunning central highlands and goldfields area but sap the legs with long rolling roads and likely strong winds at times. A fast finish into Ballarat will see the sprinters teams work hard to bring any breaks back for the dead flat sprinters finish at Lake Wendouree.

Thursday does not get any easier. The road from Ballarat to Geelong is full of surprises and the Brisbane ranges will test the riders before a long descent towards Geelong and the sea. The sprinters teams will again work hard but a technical run towards Geelong might favour the opportunist.

Friday sees the riders take on the stunning terrain of the Great Ocean Rd. An early climb and scorching descent to Lorne precedes a rolling and often windy ride back to Anglesea before heading into the Bellarine Peninsula and a gradual uphill run to the finish. We may see the strong man come to the fore today.

Saturday is the queen stage of the tour and the general classification will turn on its head today. A ferry ride from Queenscliff takes the riders to the start at Sorrento. A long flat ride along the beach to Dromana will warm up the riders before a first tough ascent of Arthurs Seat. 3k at 10% makes a tough climb and with a yellow jersey to claim, the stakes are high. The riders will explore the stunning terrain of the Mornington Peninsula before 2 more times up the mountain with the 3rd time finishing on top. It is winner take all today and the climbers will come out to play.

Sunday brings the Tour home to Melbourne and Little Italy in Lygon St. A fast and furious circuit race may well decide the Tour as it did in 2006 when Simon Gerrans took the Tour on the final sprint of the final stage. A full day of support events and the bike expo are designed to make Lygon St a great cycling destination for the day.

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