Aussie summer to conclude at Jayco Herald Sun TourMon 29 Jan 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT will wrap up their 2018 Australian summer at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, hoping to continue their successes and leave for Europe on a high.
The outfit, Australia’s first and only WorldTour team, have placed outside the top three just once in any stage or race so far this season, the highlights an Australian road race title and overall victory at the Tour Down Under, the lowest result a fifth place at Race Melbourne last Thursday.
Mitchelton-SCOTT line up with multiple options for the five-day race, which starts in the heart of Melbourne on Wednesday evening, including reigning champion Damien Howson.
With two big wins already this season at home in Australia, Mitchelton-SCOTT are looking for a third.
With a line up containing reigning champion Damien Howson and 2015 winner Cameron Meyer, two of the country’s most promising out-and-coming climbers in Robert Power and Lucas Hamilton, and Grand Tour contender Esteban Chaves, there are plenty of cards to play in the general classification game.
After his breakthrough Australian championship victory early in the year, Alex Edmondson will hold the team’s hopes in any fast finishes.
The Course – Longer and tougher
The 2018 Jayco Herald Sun Tour course has been flagged as the longest and one of the hardest in recent times.
Starting with a short prologue in Melbourne’s city centre, it’s stage three that looks set to determine the general classification with a lengthy 218km stage from Mitchelton Winery to the top of Lake Mountain. But the final stage around Kinglake can’t be discounted, with the lumpy circuit the perfect launching pad for anyone within touch.
The past – A good history
Mitchelton-SCOTT have won three of the past four editions of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour (2017 – Damien Howson, 2015 – Cameron Meyer, 2014 – Simon Clarke) and enjoyed multiple stage victories.
Damien Howson – reigning champion:
“The Sun Tour is always a special race, the team has always done really well. I have been fortunate to be involved in a few wins with Cameron Meyer and Simon Clarke, and also last year to get my own piece of glory was very special to me and something I will always remember.
“Going in as defending champion, I am very excited. It’ll be a new experience and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to come back to the Sun Tour and racing well.”
Cameron Meyer – 2015 winner:
“Winning the 2015 Jayco Herald Sun Tour was a real highlight in my career. The prestige and history behind the event makes it special to join such a honour roll”
“I am looking forward to all the stages as this year’s route looks new and interesting. The one that really stands out to me is the final day around The Kinglake Climb. I think we won’t know the winner until the very end and it’s a tough day to finish the tour.
Jayco Herald Sun Tour - Race Details:
Wed 31 Jan: Prologue – Melbourne (1.6km)
Thu 1 Feb: Stage 1, Colac to Warrnambool (161.6km)
Fri, 2 Feb: Stage 2, Warrnambool to Ballarat (198.6km)
Sat, 3 Feb: Stage 3, Mitchelton to Lake Mountain (218km)
Sun, 4 Feb: Stage 4, Kinglake (152.1km)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.