LEADING Western Australian cyclist Anthony Giacoppo is determined to make amends when the Tour of the Great South Coast hits the region next month.
Giacoppo will spearhead the Avanti Racing Team bid in the eight-stage tour, which takes riders from Mount Gambier to Port Fairy from August 13 to 17.
The former Australian criterium champion won the inaugural tour in 2012 but withdrew from the 2013 edition after a bout of tonsilitis.
The illness forced him to have his tonsils removed, prematurely ending his season. He has enjoyed a low-key return but is keen to claim a second title in three years.
“I am feeling pretty fit and healthy after having to withdraw from four races last year because of the tonsilitis,” he said.
“I’m ready to have a real go at winning the Great South Coast tour again.
“I like the tour and the region. The course has got something in it for everybody — flat sections, wind, hills and criteriums with plenty of bonus points.
“I want to come out firing. I am eager for a good result.”
The Tour of the Great South Coast is the sixth of 11 events in the National Road Series and covers four municipalities in Victoria and South Australia.
Avanti, formerly called Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisors, leads the teams’ standings with 98 points, 29 clear of Budget Forklifts.
Avanti also has three of the top four riders. Joseph Cooper leads the way with 44 points, ahead of Jack Haig (equal second, 34) and Mark O’Brien (fourth, 22).
But of the trio, only O’Brien is among the eight who will represent the team in the Tour of the Great South Coast.
The others are Giacoppo, Jack Beckinsale, Brenton Jones, Mitch Lovelock-Fay, Neil Van Der Ploeg, Scott Law and New Zealander Taylor Gunman.
The tour starts with a 36-kilometre criterium in Mount Gambier on August 13 and finishes with a 50-kilometre criterium in Port Fairy on August 17.
Other stages take in Port MacDonnell, Portland, Heywood, Casterton, Koroit and Peterborough.