Monstrous field to hit Gippsland for next Subaru NRS Tour
A monstrous 170-rider field will contest the eighth Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland from August 1-5, the fourth event for men in the 2012 Subaru National Road Series.
Former winners, New Zealander Gordon McCauley and Ballarat’s Patrick Shaw will headline the nine-stage, 490km tour, with the evergreen McCauley, a time trial bronze medallist at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, to spearhead a New Zealand invasion which includes a record 15 Kiwis.
The chirpy McCauley, 40, is on the comeback trail after a two-year hiatus from international races. He won the inaugural Gippsland tour in 2005 and five years later captured the Caterpillar Underground Mining Tour of Tasmania before he represented New Zealand at his fourth Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
McCauley will captain the four-man Lakes Oil team in the tour, which will start next Wednesday at 11am with a 40km closed circuit street race (criterium) in San Remo.
Shaw will captain the powerful Genesys Wealth Advisers team which blitzed the NRS races last year including claiming the Tour of the Murray River, Tour of Gippsland, Geelong and Tasmania.
Tour Director John Craven described the field for the Tour of Gippsland as the biggest and the best.
“There are 30 riders in the field who could win without surprising,” he said.
The other stars include:
- Darren Lapthorne, VIC (Drapac): Australian open road champion, Buninyong, 2007.
- Anthony Giacoppo, WA (Genesys): Australian criterium champion, Ballarat, 2012; Shipwreck Coast Classic winner, 2011.
- Joel Pearson, NSW (Genesys): Dual Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic winner, 2009 and 2011; Tour of the Murray River champion, 2010.
- Darren Rolfe, QLD (RBS Morgans-ATS): Winner of Tour of Geelong, 2009.
- Mark O’Brien, VIC (Budget Forklifts): Winner of opening three Subaru National Road Series races, 2012.
- William Walker, VIC (Drapac): Winner Tour of the Murray River and Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic in 2004 as an 18-year-old.
- Rhys Pollock, NSW (Drapac): Winner of 2010 Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic.
- Stuart Shaw, ACT (Drapac): Bronze medallist Australian criterium championship, Ballarat, 2011, winner Victorian 200km championship, 2006.
- Edward Bissaker, SA (Jayco Honey Shotz): Victorian open road champion, 2011.
- Malcolm Rudolph, QLD (Drapac): Australian representative at world under 23 road championship, 2010
For the first time, the Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland will feature a stage on the world-renowned Phillip Island Grand Prix motorcycle racing circuit on the opening day.
It will then navigate its way through places such as Moe, Morwell, Yinnar, Sale, Maffra, Dargo, Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance and Metung.
The tour wraps up Sunday, August 5, with the traditional grand finale criterium at Paynesville on the stunning Gippsland Lakes.
The event is supported by Tourism Victoria and four municipal councils ‐ Bass Coast, Latrobe City, Wellington and East Gippsland.