Gerrans pinpoints winning third Jayco Herald Sun Tour title in early January as big goal
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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Gerrans pinpoints winning third Jayco Herald Sun Tour title in early January as big goal

by VeloNation Press at 5:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Howard focussing on Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic

Simon GerransTargeting the event during his buildup for the defence of his national road race title, Simon Gerrans has made clear that he wants to complete a hat-trick of victories in the early-season Jayco Herald Sun Tour next month.

The four day race will be in a new January slot and will come shortly before the national championships plus the Santos Tour Down Under, where Gerrans triumphed overall last year.

He went on to win Milan-Sanremo and is planning to be in the same kind of form early on. “Starting so strong in 2012 and winning races in Australia set me up for my best season to date,” Gerrans explained. “I will be using the same theory and hope to start 2013 in the same way and continue building on my successes from 2012.”

The Orica GreenEdge rider has an additional motivation to perform in the early race. “I won the last two ‘Sun Tours’ I rode, so I am obviously very motivated to continue that record and win for a third time,” he stated.

“It would be a huge honour to join some of the legends of Australian cycling with three victories, although I am not sure current race director John Trevorrow was 100% keen to have me on board in threat of matching his feat,” he joked.

Gerrans last competed in 2005 and 2006, topping the podium then. The change in the race’s position in the calendar makes his challenge possible, and so too the fact that while the race is not a UCI-ranked event in 2013, he is not prevented by the rules from taking part in the event.

It will begin with a prologue in Williamstown on January 3rd, and will then see the riders dispute three road race stages. These are stages from Melbourne (Sunbury) to Bendigo, Mitchelton Winery to Healesville and Moonah Links to the uphill finish of Arthurs Seat.

The race will be preceded by the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, three criteriums which run January 1st to 3rd,

The latter event is the target for three-time world track champion Leigh Howard who, along with his team-mate Gerrans, attended the launch of the Mitchelton Summer of Cycling in Williamstown today.

“I want to go there and win. I have ridden the Bay Crits for a long time now and I’m itching to have a win so hopefully this will be the year,” said Howard.

He had a confidence boost in September when he beat Mark Cavendish (Sky) to win a stage of the Tour of Britain and plans on stepping up a level in 2013. “I had not a bad season this year but I would certainly like to win a few more races next year.”

He made it clear that he wants to start clocking up victories early on. “I don’t want to wait to wait to the end of the season like this year,” he said. “I start in Argentina and want to try and get a win there but any race I am in as a designated sprinter, I want to try and win a stage.”

He will loosen up by riding the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic in his home town of Geelong on New Year’s Day.


Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic:


Criterium 1 – Tuesday, 1 January - Ritchie Blvd, Geelong
Criterium 2 – Wednesday, 2 January - Portarlington
Criterium 3 – Thursday, 3 January – Williamstown


Jayco Herald Sun Tour:


Prologue - Thursday, 3 January – Williamstown ITT
Stage 1 - Friday, 4 January - Melbourne (Sunbury) to Bendigo
Stage 2 - Saturday, 5 January - Mitchelton Winery to Healesville
Stage 3 - Sunday, 6 January – Moonah Links to Arthurs Seat

 

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