By Tom McNish
LEONGATHA cyclist Tom McFarlane has high hopes for a strong performance in this week’s Herald Sun Tour.
Growing up in Leongatha, his father and former professional cyclist Dave McFarlane had Tom pedalling around on a bike before he could walk.
Competing in the Leongatha velodrome from the age of 10, he showed great potential, and was selected for the Victorian Institute of Sport for Velodrome Sprint events.
For the past three years, Tom has been riding for team ‘In-Form’, a high-end housing design and construction firm based on the Mornington Peninsula.
He still calls South Gippsland home though, and loves the local terrain.
His favourite ride?
“From Leongatha, heading out to Dumbalk, Boolarra, Mirboo North and home through Hallston would be one of the best.
“Quiet roads and some of the nicest places you can ride in Australia.”
Stage 2 from Wonthaggi to Churchill on Thursday will cover some familiar territory.
After some races in Belgium, with mixed results, Tom trained hard through the latter half of 2018 for career high form coming in to NRS (National Road Series).
Training between 600 and 700km per week, he’s achieved some good results in this year’s series and was selected for the Australian team coming into the national events, along with five other ‘In-Form’ team riders.
Tom is positive heading in to the Herald Sun Tour, and is excited to ride the event his dad fondly remembers.
“It’s one of the highlights of Dad’s cycling career. It’s cool to see photos of him competing.”
David won three stages of the then ‘Sun Tour’, twice in Gippsland.
Being suited to the flatter events, with a potential sprint finish, the South Gippsland tour stages are promising.
Tom is excited to see friends and family around the course, and thinks the Phillip Island and Botanical Garden circuits will be great viewing.
The Jayco Herald Sun Tour begins on January 30 at Phillip Island before traversing through the Gippsland towns of Wonthaggi, Churchill, Sale and Warragul.
The penultimate day sees riders tackle Arthurs Seat on the Mornington Peninsula five times before a thrilling finale around Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens.
The Jayco Herald Sun Tour will run in conjunction with the Lexus of Blackburn Women’s Herald Sun Tour, from January 30 to February 3.