Gerrans confirms for Jayco Herald Sun Tour, believes extended Australian season is a plus
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Monday, December 09, 2013

Gerrans confirms for Jayco Herald Sun Tour, believes extended Australian season is a plus

by VeloNation Press at 9:00 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Former Milan-Sanremo winner feels extra racing at home will boost his form and chances

Simon GerransTwo-time Jayco Herald Sun Tour winner Simon Gerrans has confirmed his intention to dispute the race once again, returning to the newly-upgraded UCI event at the end of January.

Gerrans said in October that he was making good progress in his recovery from the fractured hip which he suffered in the Vuelta a España, and said then that the rejigging of his schedule caused by the enforced break from the bike could see him in better than usual form at the start of the year.

He stopped earlier than usual, meaning that he would get back on the bike ahead of his normal schedule and thus have more kilometres clocked up prior to starting racing.

Gerrans confirmed then that he planned to do the Santos Tour Down Under, a race he won in 2012, and that he would also consider riding the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

“I'll put a big emphasis on being in good shape in January and trying to make the most of the unfortunate end of this season and use that to my advantage early next year,” he said in October.

Now, two months later, he has confirmed his intention to do the later of the two races.

“The Jayco Herald Sun Tour is a race that I grew up watching as a kid and it was always such a big highlight of my season early in my career. So it’s always great to have the opportunity to go back and compete in the race again and with an Aussie professional team as well,” he stated, referring to his Orica GreenEdge squad.

The race returns to the UCI calendar this year, taking a 2.1 slot, and will see bigger teams able to take part. Gerrans is keen to get racing and see how he fares.

“The form coming into summer is good,” he confirmed. “Obviously because I am in the middle of a heavy training load it’s hard to gauge exactly where I am at, but everything feels like it is on track at the moment and probably even slightly in front of where I would normally be at this time of year.

“We should have a really competitive line up with the team with a mix of experience and younger guys and we should have all bases covered.”

The Jayco Herald Sun Tour begins on Wednesday February 5th and runs until February 9th. After finishes in Southbank, Ballarat, Bendigo and Nagambie, it will conclude with a showdown on the Arther’s Seat climb. Gerrans will be a big draw for the event; he won a stage of the Tour de France in July and led the race, further increasing his profile back home.

He said that the team would take an ambitious approach. “We expect to be competitive in all of the stages, from the sprint stages to the hillier ones. A couple of us will be coming off a block of racing in January so we should be in strong shape for the race.”

He will hope for a similar start to his 2012 season, when he took the Australian road race title, won the Santos Tour Down Under and then went on to grab a fine Milan-Sanremo success.

Gerrans and the rest of the riders have just completed a training camp, thus continuing the build-up.

He’s pleased with the rejigged calendar and what that means for his preparations for the Classics. “Moving the Jayco Herald Sun Tour to the February timeslot has worked out really well because it has allowed me to stay in Australia in the good weather for an extra few weeks and miss a stage race over in Europe in the cold conditions,” he said.

Gerrans plans to back off slightly after the race, recharging his batteries prior to ramping things up again for the spring Classics.

The Jayco Herald Sun Tour will coincide with the Amy’s Ride Victoria event, a commemorative group ride which celebrates the life of the late rider Amy Gillett and raises funds for her foundation.
 

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