Cycling Australia Media Release: Subaru NRS heads to the Apple Isle for iconic Spirit of Tasmania Tour of Tasmania
Picturesque northern Tasmania will host the marquee event on the Subaru National Road Series calendar in October, with the historic Spirit of Tasmania Tour of Tasmania returning for another exciting edition on the Apple Isle from October 5-9...
Renowned as one of the toughest stage races in Australia, this five-day epic has origins dating back to 1930 when it was won by the legendary Sir Hubert ‘Oppy’ Opperman. In more recent times the Tour has become a platform for domestic cyclists to demonstrate their professional ability, with Cadel Evans, Richie Porte, Nathan Haas and Jack Haig all adding their names to the honour roll.
The 2016 Spirit of Tasmania Tour of Tasmania will begin with an afternoon prologue along the streets of Launceston on Wednesday 5 October. The climbers then get a chance to test their legs with a 115.9-kilometre stage one from George Town to Grindelwald on Thursday, before the infamous Gunns Plains ascent features on Friday’s second stage.
The battle for the prestigious yellow jersey might well be decided on the 103.8-kilometre stage three, with a gruelling category 1 climb to the Poatina finish-line sure to separate the contenders from the peloton. The winner will then be crowned following a 30-lap criterium around the streets of Devonport on Sunday 9 October.
Avanti IsoWhey Sports Racing Team’s Joe Cooper enters the event as a hot favourite, having recently collected three consecutive overall victories in the 2016 Subaru National Road Series. Yet the former New Zealand national road race champion will have to fight off a determined State of Matter MAAP Racing outfit, which is sending a strong squad including Jesse Kerrison and Dylan Sunderland across the Bass Strait.
“We are going to Tasmania hunting for a general classification victory, in addition to the green jersey and some stage wins,” explains Inverell-born Sunderland, who won the Grindelwald climb stage last year with a late breakaway. “This is one of my favourite Subaru National Road Series events, being one of the toughest tours on the calendar. It would be fantastic to get away with the overall win, but the form of Avanti will make that a challenging task.”
For Race Director John Trevorrow, the Spirit of Tasmania Tour of Tasmania has a special place in his heart. He raced the Tour as a 17-year-old, won the first-ever pro-am edition of the race and has now organised it on several occasions.
“The Tour has always been special to me,” says Trevorrow. “This year we have looked back to tours of old with some format changes, including bringing back the Poatina climb – Richie Porte’s ‘home hill’ as he calls it. I am also really excited about this new prologue. 650 metres and quite steep, it will be a ripper!”
Visit the official Spirit of Tasmania Tour of Tasmania website.
Be sure to follow #NRS16 and #ToT16 for live race updates from the Spirit of Tasmania Tour of Tasmania across the Subaru National Road Series website, and via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram