Cyclists pumped for Herald Sun Tour

AN EASY morning ride and a latte will prepare Ballarat cyclist Pat Shaw ahead of the five-day Herald Sun Tour, which kicks off today. 

Ballarat cycling fans have barely had time to get over their ‘Cadel fever’ following the champion’s visit during the Road National Championships last month. 

Shaw will ride in the Cycling Australia national team, which will travel through Ballarat tomorrow and Friday.

Yesterday, Shaw spent the day with his wife and son Carter in Melbourne, before the 2.5-kilometre prologue at Southbank today. 

It will kick-start the 61st edition of Australia’s oldest stage race, with riders continuing on to regional towns Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Nagambie for the five-day trek.

“I am looking forward to it, it’s my seventh event,” Shaw said. 

“Hopefully we’ll see one of our boys on the podium at the end.” 

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.

“We have a good mix of riders on the team,” Shaw said. 

“Hopefully there will be a crowd similar to what we saw last month at the Nationals.” 

Shaw said he was amazed by the huge interest in cycling in Ballarat. 

“It’s amazing how many people we had down in Ballarat to see the cycling last month,” Shaw said.

“They really do get the opportunity to see the best cyclists in the country.” 

The first stage of the Tour will kick off in Geelong tomorrow and finish up in Ballarat, before teams enter the second stage between Ballarat and Bendigo on Friday.