Aqua Blue Sport will contest the 2017 Jayco Herald Sun Tour taking place from February 1-5 in Victoria, Australia, it has been confirmed.
The seven-strong team named to compete in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on January 29th will also line out for the 64th edition of Australia’s oldest stage race, which kicks off in Melbourne three days later with a 2.1km individual time trial prologue.
The Aqua Blue Sport team consists of 2013 winner Calvin Watson (AUS), fellow Australian Leigh Howard plus Conor Dunne (IRL), Aaron Gate (NZL), Peter Koning (NED), Michel Kreder (NED) and Larry Warbasse (USA).
The Jayco Herald Sun Tour brings the curtain down on the Australian pro cycling season, being the last of the country’s three UCI races in January and February. The five-day event has traditionally offered an opportunity for the cream of young Australian cycling talent to compete against some of the best riders in the world.
After the now traditional Melbourne city-centre prologue, organisers say the course will be more challenging in 2017 with the stage one finish at Falls Creek after starting in Wangaratta. Riders will then go through Beechworth, Benalla and into Mitchelton Winery before completing four circuits of Kinglake on Sunday in what promises to be an epic final stage as the climax of the summer of cycling.
Commenting on the announcement Aqua Blue Sport owner, Rick Delaney said,
"The Jayco Herald Sun Tour is a race with a 64-year pedigree. We are delighted to have the chance to compete in such an historic event in only our second team race, and to extend our participation in the Australian summer of cycling.
"With a strong team assembled to line up in Aqua Blue Sport colours – including 2013 winner Calvin Watson – we are going to grasp this chance to demonstrate the ability of our team."
Melbourne-born Watson, the youngest winner of the race with victory in 2013 aged 20, is looking forward to the prospect of returning to the scene of his previous success, this time with the support of his new teammates.
"I’m excited to kick off our season in Australia, he said. "I’ve some great memories and results from the Jayco Herald Sun tour and hopefully I can replicate this success for Aqua Blue Sport in 2017."
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