PAT Shaw has earned a ride with a Cycling Australia national team in next week’s time-honoured Herald Sun Tour.
This will give Ballarat’s Shaw another opportunity to ride in his hometown.
The first stage from Geelong ends in Ballarat and the second stage to Bendigo starts in Ballarat.
Shaw will ride with Glenn O’Shea (SA), Matthew Clarke (Victoria), Robert John McCarthy (SA), Chris Jory (NSW) and Tom Hamilton (Victoria) for KordaMentha Team Australia.
It includes leading talent from the National Road Series.
Former national road champion Matthew Lloyd (Victoria), world road champion Allan Davis (Queensland) and Michael Fitzgerald (WA) are reserves.
“The team is made up of mostly young guys who are stepping up but we have some more experienced members who we expect to be up high in the rankings,” team director Dave Sanders said.
He said the Herald Sun Tour was Australia’s most historic race and it was pleasing to have a contingent of Australians in what was now an international event.
Sanders expects his team to make the most of their home ground advantage.
“We would be looking at targeting the prologue with a guy like Glenn O’Shea who’s the reigning one-kilometre time trial national champion,” he said.
“Pat (Shaw) is probably the most experienced rider on the Australian circuit at the moment.
“The first two stages are run around his hometown of Ballarat and he has a wealth of knowledge of these circuits.
“We know these roads and it’s an advantage – more than an advantage, it’s gold,” Sanders said.
Cycling Australia has also announced that new national road criterium and road race champion Caleb Ewan will head up the Jayco under-23 national team in the tour.
He will be joined by Bradley Linfield (WA), Robert Power (WA), Harry Carpenter (SA), Sam Spokes (NSW) and Alex Clements (Tasmania).
The tour begins with a 2.5km prologue on Melbourne’s Southbank on Tuesday.
Thursday, February 6: Geelong-Ballarat 116.1km, 10.30am to 1.45pm
Friday, February 7: Ballarat-Bendigo 163km, 10.30am to 2.50pm
Saturday, February 8: Mitchelton Winery-Nagambie 156.1km, 10.30am to 2.30pm
Sunday, February 9: Arthurs Seat circuit 125km, 2.30pm to 5.30pm