POLICE fees have forced a redesign of the Tour of The Great South Coast cycling event for 2014.
The third annual tour will be held from August 14-17, with the final stage moved to Port Fairy, leaving traditional finale host Camperdown off the list this year.
An extra day has also been added in South Australia, after two stages were successfully held across the border last year.
Tour promoter John Craven said “astronomical” police costs had to be taken into consideration by the race’s new organisers, Cycling Victoria, when planning this year’s course.
“Unfortunately that means Camperdown will miss out, despite the fantastic support of the Corangamite Shire and the magnificent course,” he said.
“I understand Cycling Victoria are working with the council to bring other cycling events to the area, because they recognise it’s a brilliant course.”
Craven’s company Caribou Productions founded the eight-stage tour in 2012 to form part of the National Road Series (NRS).
Craven said the race would now fall under the auspices of Cycling Victoria, with the Caribou team staying on this year as organising consultants.
On day one on Wednesday, August 13, cyclists will compete in stages one and two in Mount Gambier with a criterium circuit before a 65-kilometre kermese around the iconic Blue Lake.
Stage three on August 14 will be a completely new course, with riders completing a 139-kilometre road race from Mount Gambier to Port MacDonnell. “That race will showcase all the beauty of that region, while being a real tough challenge for the riders,” Craven said.
“South Australia was very keen to get an extra day after the success of last year, so they are very happy to be hosting day two.”
Racing moves into Victoria on August 15, with a criterium around the Portland foreshore in the morning followed by a road race from Heywood to Casterton.
Stages six and seven on Saturday, August 16 remain unchanged, with a criterium in Koroit CBD, followed by a road race to Peterborough that afternoon.
The final stage on August 17 will now be a 50-kilometre criterium around Port Fairy’s Southcombe Park, which has been as a mid-tour stage in its previous two outings.
Craven said the tour remained an important fixture on the national calendar and had built a strong following among the nations top young cyclists.
He said the new course would provide a challenge for riders while showcasing the region to a national television audience via SBS.
“I think what we have is the only true two-state tour and on of the most spectacular, yet challenging courses on the NRS,” he said.