THE 2017 Tour of Gippsland is set to make an exciting return to Bass Coast Shire on Thursday, October 19, with the first stage of the four-part series to be held in Inverloch.
For the first time this year’s tour will feature an Elite Women’s Subaru National Road Series competition, with 60 female riders competing for equal prize-money to the men.
In total, over 150 of Australia’s best cyclists will visit the region to create a great day of competition.
“We are thrilled to host the Tour of Gippsland in Inverloch and it is wonderful to see that the event is including a women’s race this year for the first time,” said Bass Coast Shire Mayor Cr Pamela Rothfield.
The tour will consist of four separate stages, taking place in Inverloch (October 19), Sale (October 20), Bairnsdale (October 21) and Traralgon (October 22).
Aside from the elite racing, Bass Coast Shire Council have worked with event organisers to make the event more than just a cycling race.
The local community is encouraged to come down the event to check out the cycling activations, children’s activities and participation opportunities, not to mention a delicious sausage in bread provided by Inverloch Lions Club. This year’s tour has something for everyone to enjoy.
“I hope that many of our local cyclists and bike riders are able to attend, as I am sure they will gain much insight and inspiration watching these athletes take on the streets of Inverloch,” said Cr Rothfield.
Moving away from a road-stage format towards a Criterium model in 2017 will give more locals and businesses the opportunity to get involved in the action and benefit from the influx of visitors, said race director John Trevorrow.
“Last year the Tour of Gippsland was raced with the backdrop of the beautiful hills. This time, Australia’s home-grown talent will race in the heart of Inverloch for the whole day.
“Criterium racing is one of the most exciting and accessible forms of the sport. Raced around short circuits, it allows the spectators to catch all the action with plenty of thrills and the occasional spill.”
“It is great to see support from Bass Coast Shire, involving the school and community in the event – we need to keep supporting the growth of safe cycling in regional Victoria,” said John.
Adding to the excitement is the announcement that Gerry Ryan’s Mitchelton Wines has signed on as the new Naming Rights partner, proving that this year is set to be the biggest and best edition in the event’s acclaimed history.
Each stage of the race will be featured in a TV highlights package, to be broadcast after the event on the Nine Network and Fox.
“October is a busy time for two wheels in the area, but although our bikes have no motors, the racing is set to be just as exciting,” said John.
For more event information and key times visit: www.tourofgippsland.com
Cycling criterium set for Inverloch