For years a ‘Tour of Australia’ has been something that has always been talked about by riders all over the world, a race across the Great Southern land with stages taking in the most iconic sections of the country.
However, it wasn’t until now this was possible. The Cycling Australia Tour of Australia powered by FulGaz, was a five-stage time trial series visiting the Adelaide Hills, Springbrook QLD, Bathurst NSW, The Dandenongs VIC before culminating in the Queen stage, Mt Wellington Tasmania.
The women’s overall Tour winner saw Step FWD I.T Suzuki’s Bre Vine (Canberra Cycling Club) take the honours with a time total of 3hours 49mins59secs.
“Throughout the series, I had a consistent battle with Emily Watts (Team Subaru Giant), where it actually got to the point where I would do my effort on a Thursday, and I’d be checking throughout the rest of the week to see if she would beat my time and what the time gaps were.” Said Vine.
She added, “I’m pretty relieved to have ticked off one of the virtual race series and to have actually taken the win for the team, with COVID-19 stopping all IRL [In Real Life] racing, it was really exciting to have some virtual racing as a good motivation tool!”
After five stages, the contest for the women’s title was a lot tighter with just over two-minutes separating the top two riders. Emily Watts (Subaru Giant Racing) took out second place (3hours 52mins 24secs) ahead of U15 rider Georgia Gardiner (Jindabyne CC) who took for third place (4hours 11mins 43secs).
The virtual Tour was won by Jon Douglas of Lifecycle CC in Queensland. When asked about how he approached the series he said, “I spent the vast majority of the Coronavirus ‘lockdown’ period cycling indoors (I only ventured out on MTB a handful of times), so really enjoyed the challenge/motivation associated with the Cycling Australia Tour of Australia powered by FulGaz.”
“I particularly enjoyed the ability to ride the stages at times that best suited me…. together with the fact that most of the stages involved climbing, which are generally a bit of a niche strength for me. I also benefited by being at my lowest weight for 30+ years… huge advantage on the hills!”
Northern Vets rider Colin Locke (TAS) came in second place 8mins behind, with James Pulling rounding out the podium in third.
General Manager of Sport Kipp Kaufmann was emboldened by the success of the series “It has been great to offer up some new racing opportunities for members during this time. We are looking forward to continuing to provide new and different value-added racing opportunities into the future for our members.”
Mike Clucas, FulGaz founder, was equally impressed with the event. “It’s fantastic to see so many Cycling Australia members racing this series. Head to head time trialling is a new space for FulGaz and it’s great to see so many take on this challenge with such gusto!”
About the Cycling Australia Tour of Australia powered by FulGaz
The five-stage tour rolled through some of the best and most iconic roads from around the country in an epic battle to see who can take the win. The Tour featured some of the most iconic courses on FulGaz in stunning 4K and was exclusively open for CA members. CA members can access a free four week trial of FulGaz via the CA member portal.