A carnival atmosphere is being promised by Tour of Tasmania director John Trevorrow, with plans to stage the entire race in the state’s North. Launceston will become the competition’s hub from October 5 to 9, with riders based in the city each night...
We’ve got a wonderful date the week after the AFL Grand Final, it will be one of the most important races of the National Road Series and what we're trying to do is make it more than a bike race but a race that attracts the people as well,” Trevorrow said.
Specific routes are still in negotiation, but Trevorrow hopes to take full advantage of Northern Tasmania’s stunning scenery.
“I’d be very surprised if we don’t go around the Gunns Plains area again, and the same with Grindelwald, that’s a wonderful stage going down both sides of the Tamar, it’s pretty spectacular, so we’re definitely looking at those stages,” he said.
A criterium is penciled in for the final stage in Launceston’s CBD.
“We’re looking at a prologue right in the heart of Launceston, we've got something special in mind which I am really excited about, and a final stage in Launceston as well bringing it back right into town,” Trevorrow said.
He said this year’s Tour of Tasmania essentially pays homage to The Examiner Tour of the North, contested from 1954 until 1991.
“It’s worked out that way, we've had wonderful cooperation from Tourism Northern Tasmania which is really enabled us to do that… what you’ve got up North is a culture of cycling that’s understood by the people,” Trevorrow said.
“It’s about having a platform for the best Australian-based riders to perform but what we will be getting is some of the Asian teams who now are starting to realise that there’s great racing in Australia.
“That’s what we’re aiming to get and we’re in negotiations with some of those very good Asian teams to come out here.”
A Saturday community ride could also be on the cards, with options being explored for spectators to ride and watch the race at each stage.
“Cycling offers that as a great extra where you can mingle with the stars and talk to them, and the bike riders are great and they relish that as well,” he said.
Encouraging people to come out and watch the race is a tougher gig than it used to be, but Trevorrow said he has a plan for that too.
“Nowadays with social media, kids tend to entertain themselves and you’ve got to really provide something to get people to come along, so social media is important and so is how we promote [the Tour of Tasmania] on social media,” he said.