Gerrans questions lack of UCI ranking for Jayco Herald Sun Tour
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gerrans questions lack of UCI ranking for Jayco Herald Sun Tour

by VeloNation Press at 7:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Race director says downgrade is a ‘little bit of paranoia’

Simon GerransCurrent Australian national champion Simon Gerrans has already confirmed that he will ride the Jayco Herald Sun Tour next month, but has spoken about the fact that few other top riders will be able to take part in the race.

The event was previously ranked as 2.1 but while the UCI approved its move from October to January, it cut it from its world calendar. Being an Australian National Event rather than having its old ranking means that the majority of the country’s professional riders can now no longer take part.

''We're definitely very limited by only having six together as a national team,” said Gerrans to the Sydney Morning Herald. “If the race was a professional event, we would see many, many more Australian pros on the start line.”

He acknowledged that with the national championships and the Santos Tour Down Under following the race, that those who can take part in the earlier event will be fitter as a result. “What we will see is that a lot of the guys who are racing in the [National Road Series teams] will have a big advantage over a lot of the professionals at the championships.

“I'm really happy to have been selected in that national team because I think it will be a real leg-up for the nationals and the Tour Down Under.''

UCI rules state that due to the status of the event, that the only top riders who can take part are those who are on a Cycling Australia team. It means that just six will compete in the race, with Gerrans’ WorldTour Orica GreenEdge team being blocked.

Race director John Trevorrow is very frustrated and referred to ‘paranoia in South Australia’. He has indicated that he believed the organisers of the Santos Tour Down Under lobbied for the downgrade of the race after it moved to the same month.

The race director of the latter event, Mike Turtur, was Oceania president until his defeat in elections last weekend by Tracey Gaudry. He had a place on the UCI’s management committee, thus leading to criticism that the two positions created a conflict of interest. He had been opposed to the race’s move to January.

Trevorrow said that the UCI had been trying to get the Santos Tour Down Under to move to February.

“I think there's a little bit of paranoia in South Australia that Major Events Victoria will put on a wonderful event with a stack of the pro teams and people won't go over to Tour Down Under. But, of course, they will go over. Tour Down Under is a World Tour event and it's a wonderful event.

“My feeling is that there are lots of nervous people around. The UCI say they're trying to keep January a bit free, but only teams that want to ride are going to ride and they don't understand the Australian and New Zealand situation. We only see our champions for that very small amount of time.”

The Jayco Herald Sun Tour begins in Williamstown on January 3rd and runs for four days. Gerrans has said that he wants to try to take his third career victory in the event.


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