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Jayco Tour of Queensland - 2.5
Australia, November 3-8, 2003
Riding amongst the sugarcane
Sixty cyclists from fifteen countries will contest the inaugural Jayco Tour of Queensland which starts on Monday November 3 and runs until November 8. The race will feature such names as Olympic gold medalist Brett Aitken, and Americans Scott Moninger and Tim Johnson, fresh from the Herald-Sun Tour.
Although his season has ended, 2002 Tour de France green jersey and Queenslander Robbie McEwen has endorsed the race. "It's fantastic that Queensland has now got a UCI race," said McEwen, "[the race] will provide a great opportunity for young Queensland riders to experience major racing at a top level."
The 570km race over eight stages will begin with a 30-lap criterium in Bunderburg, before visiting Rosedale, Seventeen Seventy, Woodgate, Childers, Maryborough, Mount Perry, Gin Gin and Bargara. The peloton will then return to Bunderburg for a 30-lap semi hot-dog criterium to decide the winner.
With AU$60,000 in prize money up for grabs, you can bet the riders, from countries such as the USA, Italy and Belgium, won't be resting on their laurels.
American Johnson installed as favourite
From Rod Morris in Bundaberg
American rider Tim Johnson has been installed as favourite for the inaugural $60,000 Jayco Tour of Queensland, which starts in Bundaberg on Monday, November 3. Johnson is fresh from a stunning victory in the VicRoads Herald Sun Tour and is keen to maintain his strike rate Down Under.
"I still can't believe I won the Herald Sun Tour," said Johnson. "But I will be just as hungry for the new Tour of Queensland - it's a race that every rider in the field will be keen to win, as it is the first time a UCI race has been held in this part of Australia."
Sixty riders - forming 12 five-man teams will compete in the 570 km Tour of Queensland, which will take in seven local shires surrounding the Bundberg district. The average daily temperature in this part of the world in November is 30-degrees plus and riders will take some adjusting to the weather.
Johnson has been framed at 2-1 favourite in an unofficial market on the tour, but can expect hot opposition from Sydney gold medal Olympian Brett Aitken (9-4), who is running into form. "I've had a look over the course and I think it will suit my style of racing," Aitken said. "It will depend a lot on the winds, it looks as though that will play a big part in the make-up of the tour."
Finnish rider Kjell Carlstrom is third favourite at 5-2 and after winning the sprint championship in the Herald Sun Tour is one to treat cautiously. Sharing the fourth line at 3-1 are Victorian Jamie Drew, who held the yellow jersey for five days in the HST, American Michael Sayers, who won the opening stage of the HST and Sweden's Jonas Ljungblad, who although recovering from a fall is fresh and eager for the race to start.
The "smokey" of the field could be 19-year-old Tasmanian Ryan Sullivan, who will ride for the Emu Spirit - Tasmanian Institute of Sport team. Sullivan, younger brother of Sean Sullivan (Barloworld) has been framed at 10-1 and could surprise many.
2 - Tim Johnson (Maryborough City - Isis Shire)
Cabe Jayco 1 Scott Davis (Aus) 6 David McKenzie (Aus) 2 Aaron Kemps (Aus) 7 Jamie Drew (Aus) 3 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) 8 Trent Wilson (Aus) 4 David Betts (Aus) 9 Dominique Perras (Can) 5 Miles Olman (Aus) 10 Tomas Buchacek (Cze) Bundaberg City/Burnett Shire Europcar 11 Chris Wherry (USA) 16 Kjell Carlstrom (Fin) 12 Scott Moninger (USA) 17 Ivan Fanelli (Ita) 13 Alex Candelario (USA) 18 Marek Wesoly (Pol) 14 Michael Sayers (USA) 19 Mateusz Mroz (Pol) 15 Ben Van Derkamp (Aus) 20 Jamie Burrow (GBr) Miriam Vale/Kolan/Perry Shires Bundaberg Sugar 21 Brett Aitken (Aus) 26 Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) 22 Russell Van Hout (Aus) 27 Bart Heirewegh (Bel) 23 Matthew Goold (Aus) 28 Danny In't Ven (Bel) 24 Kristian House (GBr) 29 Jarron Poad (NZl) 25 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) 30 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Caravello Barloworld 31 Hector Morales (Uru) 36 Tiaan Kannemeyer (RSA) 32 Jorge Libonatti (Uru) 37 James Perry (RSA) 33 Tony Mann (Aus) 38 Jacobus de Witt (RSA) 34 Ashley Humbert (Aus) 39 Hilton Clarke (Aus) 35 Troy Glennan (Aus) 40 Sean Sullivan (Aus) Mirvac Maryborough City/Isis Shire 41 Michal Precechtel (Cze) 46 Eric Wohlberg (Can) 42 Pavel Zerzan (Cze) 47 Tim Johnson (USA) 43 Jindrich Vana (Cze) 48 Peter Milostic (Aus) 44 Luke Bettany (Aus) 49 Chris Bradford (Aus) 45 Stephen Pearce (Aus) 50 Bart Duraj (Aus) Sea Fm Emu Spirit/Tis 51 Alejandro Acton (Arg) 56 Darren Young (Aus) 52 Milton Wynants (Uru) 57 Ryan Sullivan (Aus) 53 Gerado Castro (Uru) 58 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) 54 Alvara Tardaguila (Uru) 59 Mark Jamieson (Aus) 55 Mateo Sasso (Uru) 60 Karl Menzies (Aus)