Cycling back on the menu

By Jarrod Whittaker

ELITE cycling will return to the region’s roads after a one year absence when the Tour of Gippsland kicks off in Traralgon on Wednesday.

The first stage of the five day event begins with a 40.5 kilometre criterium in the heart of Traralgon, starting at 12.30pm.

Riders will complete 45 laps of a 900-metre circuit around Catterick Crescent and Garibaldi Street.

Race director John Trevorrow said teams were excited about returning to the region.

“This and the Tour of Tasmania are the two most popular races on the program – it’s a wonderful course,” Trevorrow said.

“I think people of Gippsland will see some great racing.”

Trevorrow should know, as the former Morwell resident, who cycled for Australia at the 1970 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games and 1972 Munich Olympics, has ridden most of the course himself.

Stages two, three and four of the tour feature road races which will take riders to locations such as Paynesville, Metung, Port Albert, Inverloch and many places in-between.

“The beauty of this course is that it really offers something for everyone,” he said.

“The real sprinters have a couple of stages and the guys who like it a bit tougher have a couple of stages as well.”

The action returns to Traralgon on Sunday, 4 September for a 45km criterion at 10.30am.

Stage five follows around a 1.5km circuit along Kay Street down to the roundabout at the Breed Street intersection, before heading up the other side of Kay Street to Roosevelt Street and heading back again.

“The last criterion with the hill suits a different style of rider, so it really suits everyone,” Trevorrow said.

On the final day Latrobe Valley cycling enthusiasts will be able to celebrate Father’s Day by taking a ride around the track before the race begins.

The track will be open to non-competitors at 9am.

“Get along and you can ride on the circuit when the stars are about to warm up,” Trevorrow said.

“You can test yourself on what they’re about to race on.”

The Tour of Gippsland begins on Wednesday at Catterick Crescent at 12.30pm. For more information visit