Tour Down Under named best Tourism event, Wiggins targets Sun Tour
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Friday, October 09, 2009

Tour Down Under named best Tourism event, Wiggins targets Sun Tour

by Conal Andrews at 8:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Benefiting in part from the participation of Lance Armstrong in the race, the Tour Down Under has been named as the best Tourism Event in 2009. A record 760,500 people attended the race this year, making it a massive success.

"The Tour Down Under has grown every year since its inception in 1999 and is a major drawcard to attract visitors to South Australia," said Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith, according to The Advertiser newspaper.

"With Lance Armstrong making his cycling comeback in Adelaide, the 2009 Tour Down Under became the biggest event ever staged in SA. Over 36,000 people from interstate and overseas travelled to South Australia specifically to watch the 2009 Tour Down Under and injected a massive $39 million into the State's economy."

Meanwhile British rider Bradley Wiggins has arrived in Australia prior to the start of the Herald Sun Tour, and has said that the race had special meaning to him because of its connection with his late father Gary Wiggins and his coach Shane Sutton.

"For my dad it was one of his last races as a professional bike rider and my second father, Shane Sutton, rode this race and won it," said the Garmin-Slipstream rider.

"It’s a long standing event and every year it produces a prestigious winner, from Simon Gerrans to Baden Cooke and last year with Stuart O’Grady.

"It’s always decided on someone who is in form and has been racing well during the year."

If that’s indeed the criteria, then Wiggins will be watched by many of his rivals. He was an excellent fourth in the Tour de France, and looked likely to match or better this position in the recent world championship time trial. However bike problems foiled his chances of a medal.

This year’s Jayco Herald Sun Tour will a peloton of 105 riders, made up from 15 teams of seven competitors. Those likely to be in contention include world track omnium champion and Tour of Gippsland winner Leigh Howard (Jayco-AIS Team), Tour of Tasmania victor Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia), 2007 Sun Tour champion Matt Wilson plus talented young rider Richie Porte (both Jayco Australian National team), Irish time trial champion David McCann (Prime Estate), British road champion Kristian House and former Australian champion Darren Lapthorne (Rapha Condor).

The race is ranked 2.1 on the international calendar and runs from October 11th – 17th.

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2009 Jayco Herald Sun Tour:

Sunday 11 October, preface: Ballarat, 2.2km circuit
Monday 12 October, stage 1: Ballarat to Ballarat, 149km
Tuesday 13 October, stage 2: Colac to Warrnambool, 141km
Wednesday 14 October, stage 3: Warrnambool to Apollo Bay, 164km
Thursday 15 October, stage 4: Anglesea to Barwon Heads, 138km
Friday 16 October, stage 5: individual time trial, Geelong, 10km
Saturday 17 October. Stage 6: Melbourne Circuit Race, 4.1km
circuit

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