Starting on the lower slopes of Mt Macedon, the first road stage will offer fans a unique opportunity to mingle with the stars and then not only watch the race get under way but stay and watch the first hillclimb.

The stage will start from the iconic Mt Macedon Hotel and proceed down the mountain and do an 8 km loop before climbing back up past the hotel for the first hill climb of what will be a tough opening road stage for the event. The race will include the towns of Kyneton, Malmsbury and Taradale that haven't been visited by the Tour in many years.

Mount Alexander will again provide a tough challenge before a fast and furious finale setting the scene for what should be a thrilling finish in the Heart of Bendigo where race will do a six km loop which will allow the spectators a double opportunity to witness the action.

Last year the stage into Bendigo proved the most decisive of the Tour and it should again be won by a strong rider who is able to negotiate the tough climbs and survive the fast finale. We also plan to have the first Frank McCaig Memorial Sprint in Bendigo in recognition of the many years of service that Frank gave to the event both as a rider and official.

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