By Rod Morris
The Skilled Tour of Tasmania is Australia's oldest cycling Tour and is one of only three Australian tours to be granted international status, with the world cycling body - the UCI. This year's Skilled Tour of Tasmania will see some of Australia's best cyclists, including our National team, head to head against some world class internationals, along some of the most spectacular cycling terrain in the world.
Australia's first international professional squad iteamNova.com along with national teams from Japan, NZ and Australia contribute to riders from nine countries who will attempt to take the title from defending champion, Queenslander Glen Chadwick.
Olympic Gold Medallist Brett Aitken will start favourite, but one of his main dangers is facing a race against time to make the start line. David McKenzie, captain of iteamNova.com and stage winner of the Giro d Italia, seriously gashed right through his thigh muscle in a freak training accident three weeks ago and is desperately trying to get back on the bike to prepare for his assault on the Tour of Tasmania.
"It was devastating at the time as it was only three days before the national title. It has also cost me a ride in The Tour Downunder and the Tour de Langkawi and I just hope I can get back for Tassie," McKenzie said.
The event will again be shown to audiences throughout Tasmania on Southern Cross, across Australia on Network 10 and C7, and around the globe to 200 million viewers on Transworld Sport and SN TV.
The event would not be possible with out the support of the Tasmanian Government through the Department of State Development.
The Skilled Tour of Tasmania is the final leg of the Skilled Summer of Cycling Series.
The final day will be a festival of fun, with the creation of a heady carnival atmosphere involving the public in activities leading up to the individual Time Trial finish at the Launceston Country Club at 11.00 am
2001 Not held 2000 Glen Chadwick (Qld) 1999 Cadel Evans (Vic) 1998 Cadel Evans (Vic) 1997 Alan Iacuone (Vic) 1996 Stephen Hodge (ACT) The Examiner Tour of the North 1991 Grant Rice (Tas ) 1990 Brian Fowler (NZl) 1989 Not Held 1988 Kevetoslav Palov (NSW) 1987 Barney St George (NSW) 1986 Stephen Hodge (Vic) 1985 Michael Lynch (Vic) 1984 Jack Swart (NZl) 1983 Wayne Hildred (Vic) 1982 Wayne Dellar (Vic) 1981 Murray Hall (Vic) 1980 Geoff Skaines (NSW) 1979 John Trevorrow (Vic) 1978 Michael Wilson (Tas) 1977 Garry Sutton (NSW) 1976 Remo Sansonetti (Vic) 1975 Remo Sansonetti (Vic) 1974 Remo Sansonetti (Vic) 1973 Barry Ulyatt (NZl) 1972 Don Allan (Vic) 1971 Russell Tankard (Vic) 1970 Don Allan (Vic) 1969 Kerry Wood (Tas) 1968 Kevin Morgan (Tas) 1967 Alf Baker (NZl) 1966 Don Wilson (Vic) 1965 Ray Bilney (Vic) 1964 Mal Powell (Vic) 1963 Vic Brown (Vic) 1962 Vic Brown (Vic) 1961 Allan Grindal (Vic) 1960 Col Hymus (Vic) 1957-1959 No Tour 1956 Jim Nevin (Tas) 1955 Neil Geraghty (NZL) 1954 Colin McKay (Vic) The Mercury Tour of Tasmania 1963 Peter Panton (Vic) 1962 Ron Murray (Tas) 1961 Ron Murray (Tas) 1960 John O'Sullivan (Vic) 1959 Peter Panton (Vic) 1958 Peter Panton (Vic) 1957 Russell Mockridge (Vic) 1956 Eddie Smith (Vic) 1955 I. Greenfield (Scotland) 1954 Roger Arnold (NSW) Original Tour of Tasmania 1930 Sir Hubert Opperman (Vic)