It may only be a touch over 3 kilometres in length but the iconic ascent of the famous Arthurs Seat on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, is expected to be the stage that could decide the winner of next year’s Jayco Herald Sun Tour, the 66th edition of the legendary race.
The superbly scenic rise from Dromana returns to the tour schedule, and now includes amazing public access via the new Arthurs Seat Eagle, a state-of-the-art gondola flying over the state forest to the highest point of the beautiful Peninsula, with breathtaking view across the bay to the city.
New Race Director and 2000 Olympic Gold medalist SCOTT McGRORY has described the race from Cape Schank to Arthurs Seat as the ‘Queen Stage’ and is confident it will test the best.
“This particular stage will include the riders travelling five times up Arthurs Seat, on previous occasions it has been three times which has been tough enough, but five times, well the riders are going to be shocked when they hear that…and certainly more shocked when they are riding up it”
“But it certainly does give an amazing finish for the race, building momentum towards the end, the climbers will come out to play – and incorporating the Eagle gondola it is a fantastic thing to do, it will be great for the public with the roads covered with spectators, plenty of activity on the hairpin corners and a real festival of cycling at Arthurs Seat to showcase the best riders in the world”
Two of Australia’s best STEELE VON HOFF (Bennelong SwissWellness) and BRENTON JONES (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) who have been sidelined with crash related injuries, scoped out the climb and claim it will be a benchmark event.
Von Hoff is a local product, “It’s fantastic, nearly every Jayco Herald Sun Tour I have been a part of has come up here and I did really miss this climb last year. All my friends and family can come around here, the scenery is amazing, especially now that the Eagle chairlift is in – if you can jump on that and go down there you get a brilliant view down around the bay. It’s just a fantastic spot to hold a race, it’s my training roads so I have plenty of local knowledge too I grew up only 20 minutes away…it’s going to be really cool to be back here, and people can run alongside you, it will be awesome.”
Jones is leading a discussion to have his French team get a start here, or potentially he could form part of the national line up. “Really looking forward to it, Arthurs Seat is always a dramatic stage and I think it will be the deciding stage for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour for 2019 – and for me it will be a great opportunity to support some guys in my team”
Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor, Cr Bryan Payne said he was delighted that the Jayco Herald Sun Tour was returning to the Mornington Peninsula. “The 2016 tour was a great event for our region and the 2019 Cape Schanck to Arthurs Seat route promises to be an exciting challenge for both the local and international cyclists”.
“The Peninsula is a popular destination for cyclists because of our diverse natural environment and spectacular coastal vistas. The tour will showcase the sport at the highest level providing a platform to promote the importance of good health and also support our visitor economy.
“I encourage locals and visitors alike to lock in the date and come to Arthurs Seat to watch the world’s best cyclists in our very own backyard.”
Men’s Stage 4 Course Map:
McGrory has taken over the director’s position from long time event patriarch and three-time Sun-Tour winner John Trevorrow, who steps into an overall Tour General Manager’s role.
“I love this place, and we’ve always had the biggest crowds and it’s almost like a mini Tour de France here, I’m very excited to be back.
“It’s an amazing new chairlift – I can remember a long time back to the old days when you were basically sitting on a wooden bench – but five times up here means this is going to be a seriously hard stage”
Trevorrow’s work has been enormous in the ongoing success of the tour, fostering local champions and bringing the likes of Tour de France title holders Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, along with elite WorldTour teams to our shores. He remains as Race Director of the blossoming Women’s Herald Sun Tour, and says the time was right for a generational change to the leadership of Australia’s oldest stage race. “I’m excited to be handing over the Race Director’s role to Scotty, who has been involved in cycling for a really long time – and I think the soon to be unveiled course for the two-day women’s event will see one of the toughest women’s races we have seen in Australia”
McGrory will combine the new role with his Race Directorship of the Road Nationals in January “Yes, very big shoes to fill, John did a great job for so many years leading the race. For me it’s very exciting as this race has the most history in Australian cycling and is the oldest of the tours – and I am actually a little nervous given the amount of responsibility in the role, as part of one of the most prestigious events in our sport so I am hoping I can fill JT’s shoes”
Trevorrow (1972 Olympian) could see the lighter side of the Olympic level handover “We have some great history Scott and I, we both rode Commonwealth Games and Olympics, although he won a Gold Medal and I didn’t do that, but I won three Sun-Tours so there you go!”
McGrory “I raced the Sun-Tour half a dozen times and won a bunch of stages and finished third in the overall classifications one year – so I certainly understand how tough and how prestigious this race is. And for the domestic scene here in Australia it’s a race for the young riders to really show their wares and shine as we have seen in the past – and for the internationals it is no easy win for them – if they come to Australia to ride the Jayco Herald Sun Tour then they have to be really fit and firing to perform’
The exciting and brutal race up Arthurs Seat is the penultimate stage of the next year’s tour and will start at Cape Schank on the morning of Saturday 2nd February 2019 before finishing at the summit.
See you there!
Please note: The FULL course for the 2019 Jayco Herald Sun Tour will be announced at a special media event later this month, depending on timings for rider availability.
Watch Herald Sun Tour Arthurs Seat announcement: