Rocky cyclists plan tour team


ROCKHAMPTON cyclists hope to make a team assault on the third Tour of Queensland which rolls into Central Queensland for the first time later this year.

Rockhampton's Miles Olman and Cameron Jennings raced for team Mirvac last year.

Add such riders as Mark Chadwick, Grant Irwin, Glen Chadwick and Jeremy Hogg and you have a strong talent base.

This year is a new and improved tour ? breaking out of the Wide Bay boundaries and extending the annual race from six to eight days.

It will be the longest tour in Australia, with South Australia's Tour Down Under staged over six days and the Herald Sun Tour in Victoria raced over seven days.

Tour co-ordinator John Craven said organisers wanted to make this event Queensland's own Tour de France.

Craven said among the factors swaying the event to enter Central Queensland were the strong cycling base in Rockhampton, the tradition, and the terrain ? from a Mt Morgan range climb to the scenic coastal route.

He said he was under pressure to extend the tour to the State's south-east corner.

"My view is that they already have everything happening down there and this event is better suited further north,'' Craven said.

The race starts in Maryborough on October 27 and finishes in Rockhampton on November 3.

Central Queensland hosts a 101.3km stage nine from Rockhampton to Mount Morgan on November 1, followed by a criterium in Yeppoon, a 68km Yeppoon-to-Mt Archer on November 2 before finishing with a criterium (stage 12) in Rockhampton's city centre on November 3.

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