Richie rolls up for Stan Siejka Clas­sic

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - SHAUN McMANUS

TAS­MA­NIAN cy­cling star Richie Porte will be in at­ten­dance at the Stan Siejka Cy­cling Clas­sic in Launceston this Sun­day — but he won’t be jump­ing in the sad­dle.

A crowd in ex­cess of 8000 is ex­pected to at­tend the one-day Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia Launceston Cy­cling Fes­ti­val, with Porte to pro­vide spe­cial com­ments dur­ing the Stan Siejka cri­terium. He will be joined by SBS Aus­tralia host Mike To­ma­laris and pro rider-turned-com­men­ta­tor Pat Shaw on stage.

“We’re re­ally ex­cited to have Richie,” event di­rec­tor Rick Fon­tyn said.

“He’s been a great sup­porter of the event and it’s just worked out re­ally well that he’s com­ing back home and he’ll join us as a spe­cial guest in com­men­tary.”

Tas­ma­nian Cam Wurf will be among those tak­ing part in the clas­sic. Wurf re­cently broke the course record in the 180km bike leg at the Hawaii Iron­man, and is also a for­mer Un­der-23 world row­ing cham­pion.

James Whe­lan, who fin­ished fourth in 2017, Ger­man Raphael Freien­stein, and Tas­ma­nia’s Nathan Earle will be among the other com­peti­tors.

The Stan Siejka Cy­cling Clas­sic will be pre­ceded by a 5km run­ning chal­lenge fea­tur­ing 15 of the state’s best run­ners com­pet­ing in a hand­i­cap race.

“It brings to­gether a lot of re­ally tal­ented, elite rid­ers, but also the crowd and the at­mos­phere is al­ways fan­tas­tic,” Mr Fon­tyn said. “It’s a great tight cir­cuit, it’s only 1.1km, and it’s a day that caters not only for the elites but also for the ju­niors … and also mas­ters.”

En­try to the fes­ti­val is free. Rac­ing com­mences at 12.30pm.

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