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“Our aims this year will be to be in breakaway moves. We have powerful fast riders and we'll be looking to finish fast on the flat days."

Photo: Sirotti

HERALD SUN TOUR

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS
06.01.2017 @ 09:19 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Australian sprinter Brenton Jones is keenly aware of what it will take to claim the opening yellow leader’s jersey at the 2017 Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

 

The 25 year-old, along with 2017 Mitchelton Bay Classic series winner Ian Bibby, will spearhead the hopes of the UK’S longest standing UCI Continental cycling team, JLT Condor, when racing gets underway in Melbourne’s Federation Square on Wednesday 1st February.

 

“The prologue has my name on it, it's fast, explosive and I know I'll be in the mix,” said the young Victorian ahead of his home tour.

 

The 64th edition of Australia’s oldest stage race will be held around Victoria from Wednesday 1stto Sunday 5th February 2017.

 

Jones, the bronze medallist in this week’s Australian criterium championship, will be joined by Bibby who said that his team’s performance in the opening days of the season was evidence that the squad assembled in Australia was working well together.

 

“Obviously a stage race is a lot different to the criteriums that we have ridden over the last three days,” Bibby explained after his Bay Crits win. “However the success myself and the team have enjoyed during the Mitchelton Bay Classic gives us the confidence to press on with our training in the next few weeks so we give ourselves the best possible chance to compete with some of the best riders in the world at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.”

 

Of course those riders include three-time Tour de France champion and defending Sun Tour title holder Chris Froome and ORICA-Scott tyros, two-time event simmer Simon Gerrans and Colombian climbing wiz Esteban Chaves.

 

In 2015 Jones finished just one second off first place in the CBD Prologue, behind Caleb Ewan and winner, Will Clarke.

 

“I'd love to start the season off on a high, so I'll be aiming to put my new team colours onto the podium - top step on the podium,” Jones, who joins JLT Condor from Drapac Professional Cycling said.

 

Having raced in Asia, North America and Europe in recent seasons, Jones is looking forward to showcasing his talents on the roads of his home state at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

 

“I love the Aussie summer, always a great atmosphere, quality competition with riders looking to start the year off on a high,” he said. “To race in front of family, friends and the many locals is something I thrive on too, it's not every day they get to watch you compete in front of them. It's usually on the TV or a live stream, so it's like having some extra determination to impress just that little bit more!”

 

With 2017’s race set to be the toughest seen in recent years, Jones is hoping that he can use his local knowledge to aid his new JLT Condor teammates and their general classification goals when the Sun Tour heads for the mountains.

 

JLT Condor’s team leader, likely Ian Bibby or Steve Lampier, will be decided off the back of a gruelling Bendigo-based training camp starting early January. The UK-based squad has made a habit of using the fast and furious racing of the Australian summer to kick-start their annual ambitions and JLT Condor team manager John Herety says 2017 is no different.

 

"The Sun Tour has always had a high calibre of racing and each year it gets tougher,” he said. “It is a good opportunity for our stage race squad to get together early in the season and good performances will start our season off really well.”


Herety admits that his riders will have to chance their arm to make the biggest impact.

 

“Our aims this year will be to be in breakaway moves. We have powerful fast riders and we'll be looking to finish fast on the flat days."


Jones, along with his teammates will have to wait until the penultimate stage to configure their lead-out with the day the only other carrot on offer for the sprinters of the peloton.

 

The British team will have to keep something special in the tank after three days of racing through Australia’s alpine region in order to get Jones to the line first. The speedster willing that some of that imparted local knowledge will be repaid with a smooth and speedy delivery into the finish at Mitchelton Winery.

 

“I'm keen to finish strong into Nagambie, the stage should finish in a sprint and it'd be great to do well in that stage,” Jones said.

 

The 2017 Jayco Herald Sun Tour will be presented by Jayco and the Herald Sun, along with the continued support from the Victorian State Government.

 

JLT Condor – 2017 Jayco Herald Sun Tour

@teamJLTcondor

Ian BIBBY

@IanBibby86

30

GBR

A background in mountain bike and cyclo-cross hints at Bibby's strength on the road. Started 2017 with the overall series win at the Mitchelton Bay Classic in Geelong. The solo winner of the 2016 Manx International GP, Bibby beat home the likes of Ben Swift and Peter Kennaugh. 2015 British Criterium Champion.

Edmund BRADBURY

@Bradburg_watts

24

GBR

Came into the cycling world from rowing and has a degree in neuroscience and management from Cambridge University. Bradbury's big engine saw him finished runner-up to Alex Dowsett at the 2015 British Time Trial Championships.

Alex FRAME

 

23

NZL

Part of New Zealand's 2015 World Championship-winning team pursuit squad. A painter in his spare time, Frame was key in JLT Condor's domination of last year's Tour Series in the UK. The fast man was twice runner-up in stages of the New Zealand Cycle Classic in 2016.

James GULLEN

@jgullen

27

GBR

A new face to the JLT Condor squad in 2017, Gullen joins the team with considerable momentum. The 2016 season netted a stage win at the An Post Ras in Ireland where he finished ninth overall, and then finished second to Alex Dowsett at the British Time Trial Championships.

Brenton JONES
@brenton_jones

25

AUS / VIC

Sprinter Jones joins JLT Condor after two seasons with Drapac. The Victorian enjoyed the most ‘successful UCI professional tour of his career’ at 2016 Tour de Korea in June, winning two stages and earning victory in the points classification.

Steve LAMPIER
@Steviel84

32

GBR

A rouleur, Lampier will enjoy some of the lumpier days at the Sun Tour and he'll be looking to improve on his 12th overall placing from 2016. The result rounded out a strong early season, having finished fifth on GC at the New Zealand Cycle Classic. Took out 2015's British Road Series.

Alistair SLATER

@Alislater11

23

GBR

In his second season with JLT Condor and earns a repeat appearance at the Sun Tour. Has mixed road with track and cyclo-cross racing and is one of many riders to have benefitted from the Dave Rayner Fund.

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