Around 150 of Australia’s best cyclists are set to pedal their way through Gippsland for the iconic Tour of Gippsland Criterium Series, from 19-22 October.
For the first time, this year’s tour will feature an Elite Women’s Subaru National Road Series competition, with 60 to 70 female riders competing for equal prize-money with the men.
The tour will consist of four separate races, taking place in Inverloch (19 October), Sale (20 October), Bairnsdale (21 October) and Traralgon (22 October).
Moving away from a road-stage format will give more locals and businesses the opportunity to get involved in the action and benefit from the influx of visitors.
Thousands of people are expected to line local streets, giving communities across Gippsland the chance to see their cycling heroes in action.
Aside from the big race, cyclists will take part in a number of community activities, including school visits, clinics and rides, safety awareness training, club criterium races and free skills sessions for kids.
The Tour is funded through the Latrobe Valley Sports and Community Initiative – an $85 million investment in sports and community infrastructure, events and associated support programs being delivered by the Latrobe Valley Authority.
As well as significant upgrades to local sporting infrastructure, the initiative forges an alliance between the State Government and elite sports to bring more major events to Gippsland.
Each stage of the race will be streamed live and include a TV highlights package, to be broadcast after the event on the Nine Network and Fox.