The Jayco Herald Sun Tour will cap off an extended Australian summer of racing for ORICA-GreenEDGE and will be Simon’s last race on Australian soil before he heads home to Europe.
The five-day stage race will commence on Wednesday with the Teams Presentation in Federation Square from 4:30pm followed by the 2.5km prologue starting at 6:45pm. The race will then continue throughout the state of Victoria finishing up Arthurs Seat on Sunday.
Simon has won the race on two occasions in 2005 (AG2r Prevoyance) and 2006 (Australian National Team).
“Growing up in country Victoria, the Jayco Herald Sun Tour is probably the first race I ever saw. I remember skipping classes at school to go and stand on the roadside to watch the race go by,” said Gerrans.
“Being Australia’s oldest stage race, I am really happy that it is back on the professional calendar and I have the opportunity to race it with my ORICA-GreenEDGE teammates”.
“It’s no secret that the Sun Tour is an important race for ORICA-GreenEDGE and we will be racing to win. Off the back of our wins in the National Championships and the Tour Down Under, I am confident myself or one of my teammates will be able to continue our run of success. One of our strengths is that we are really united as a team and we have several guys that are capable of winning. We will have a few cards to play,” said Gerrans.
ORICA-GreenEDGE sports director Matthew Wilson is confident the team is up to the task.
“The team is coming in off the back of a huge win at Tour Down Under, and we have a really strong team going to the Herald Sun Tour also,” Wilson said.
“We won the team’s classification at Tour Down Under, and we’ve got about half of those guys in the line up for the Herald Sun Tour, plus some others who have prepared well for this race.
“The guys were so dominant in Adelaide, so we’re expecting big things,” Wilson added.
“ORICA-GreenEDGE and myself have had a fantastic start to the season, however there is a very impressive lineup of both local and international talent racing so we will have to be at the top of our game so secure the win,” said Gerrans.
With a prologue and only four road stages, the Jayco Herald Sun Tour should make for some exciting racing.
“It’s a race that could be lost at any point, and I don’t think we will find out who is going to take the overall honours until the final sprint for the line on Arthurs Seat on Sunday evening,” said Gerrans.
“Gerro has the form of his life. He is coming off two big wins, after the national titles and Tour Down Under, so he will start the Herald Sun Tour as the favourite. I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t make it a trifecta with a win at the Sun Tour also,” Wilson added.
ORICA-GreenEDGE for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour:
Cameron Meyer (AUS), Damien Howson (AUS), Matt Goss (AUS), Mitch Docker (AUS), Simon Clarke (AUS), and Simon Gerrans (AUS).
Wednesday 5 February: Prologue – 2.5km – Melbourne – 6:45pm
Thursday 6 February: Stage 1 – 116.1km – Geelong to Ballarat – 10:30am
Friday 7 February: Stage 2 – 163.0km – Ballarat to Bendigo – 10:30am
Saturday 8 February: Stage 3 – 156.1km – Mitchelton Winery to Nagambie – 10:30am
Sunday 9 February: Stage 4 – 125km – Arthurs Seat to Arthurs Seat – 2:30pm
For more information on the race, please visit the official race website here.