This will be the longest
stage of the race and with the inclusion of Bumble Hill as the finish
destination, could be a very telling aspect of the race.
The stage will be
honouring Darren Smith with the race organiser deciding on a non commercial
finish to best highlight Smithy's wonderful achievements in the sport.
After departing the
beautiful Salamander Shores Resort, a highlight for the tour cyclists
and personnel, the race heads through the majority of Port Stephens Shire
and passes through Raymond terrace before heading to Maitland.
The first 40 kilometres
is generally fast with once again the cross winds playing havoc with the
This stages has determined
the overall result in previous years and most riders will be keeping a
watchful eye on any early breakaway attempts.
The cyclists will
continue through to Freemans Waterhole, the first major climb of the tour
before heading though to Wyee and Hue Hue Road.
The final 16 kilometres
along Yarramalong Valley will set up an exciting forerunner to the steep
Bumble Hill that has ended the hopes of many cyclists over the years.
Max Van Heeswijk,
winner of this stage last year following his fellow countryman Jans Koerts
win in the previous year, has been very impressive on this particular
stage and has won the King of the Mountain over Bumble Hill in previous