Sun Tour takes a shine to Mt Buller

Mansfield Courier - - Sport -

WHEN the Jayco Her­ald Sun Tour hits the North East in Fe­bru­ary it will be the first time that Falls Creek and Mt Buller will be raced in the same edi­tion of the tour.

Tour or­gan­is­ers yes­ter­day con­firmed the tour is con­tin­u­ing as sched­uled at this stage, but they will con­tinue to mon­i­tor­ing bush­fire ac­tiv­i­ties and act if re­quired.

Mt Buller last fea­tured in 2008 when the stage was won by now mul­ti­ple time Aus­tralian cycle-cross cham­pion, Chris Jonger­waard, ahead of now four-time Tour de France-win­ner Chris Froome.

Stu­art O’Grady won the race over­all that year.

In 2020, stage four of the Jayco Her­ald Sun Tour fin­ishes atop of a gru­elling climb up Mt Buller.

A lap of a small flat cir­cuit out to Bar­wite will ease the riders into the stage be­fore the chal­lenge be­gins.

A longer lap head­ing up­hill to Tolmie is on the menu prior to the pelo­ton hit­ting the base of Mt Buller, mean­ing this stage is sure to have riders on their hands and knees by the fin­ish.

Dubbed as the queen stage of the tour, stage four (Mans­field to Mt Buller via Tolmie and Mer­ri­jig) will cover a dis­tance of 106.6km with an ap­prox­i­mate el­e­va­tion gain of 2.3km.

In the past Mans­field’s cy­cling pro­fes­sional Si­mon Ger­rans has won the tour twice, in 2005 and again in 2006.

Jayco Her­ald Sun Tour race di­rec­tor, Scott McGrory, has watched the event un­fold in pre­vi­ous years, and is ex­cited to hold it in Mans­field Shire.

“Mans­field and Mt Buller have seen the tour many times in the past and it’s great to come back in 2020,” McGrory said.

Mans­field is the home of for­mer tour win­ner Si­mon Ger­rans, and Jamieson is the for­mer home of Aussie cy­cling leg­end Phil An­der­son just down the road; this area is made for tough riders.

“This year though, with a sprint stage in Mel­bourne to fin­ish the tour it will be mighty Mt Buller that is the fi­nal bat­tle ground for the over­all con­tenders,” McGre­gory said.

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