WARRNAMBOOL cyclist Matt Lane hasn’t wasted time getting back on the bike after returning from a stint racing overseas.
Lane arrived home last Thursday after three months in Europe with the Bianchi Arbitrage cycling team and on Sunday night hit the road again, this time heading to Mildura for the National Road Series (NRS) Tour of Murray which kicks off today.
Lane has been thrown a lifeline for the remainder of the NRS season, picking up a spot on the fledgling Pat’s Veg cycling team after Bianchi Arbitrage decided against fielding teams for the remainder of the domestic season.
He said he was feeling good after three months of racing in Belgium.
“I didn’t get a win in Europe which was disappointing, but we rode well as a team and had a little bit of success there,” Lane said.
“I’m feeling good. I’ve got three months worth of racing in my legs. I’m hoping to get into a few breakaways this week and get my name up there and then turn my focus to the Tour of The Great South Coast and The Tour of Gippsland.
“The Murray course is flat and windy, which doesn’t really suit me, but I’m ready to give it a good crack.”
Former Mortlake cyclist Darcy Woolley will also line up but had a less than perfect preparation after a serious fall during training last week.
Woolley said he spent an afternoon in hospital after hitting the tarmac head-first and was still suffering from bruising, sore ribs and a sore hip.
He said it wasn’t the ideal preparation for a tour which plays to his strengths as a sprinter.
“It’s a bit disappointing. I was feeling really good before the crash. I’m a bit sore but nothing was broken thankfully,” he said.
“We were about to go into a week of high intensity training to sharpen things up, but that was delayed for me because of the crash.
“We’ve had a couple of training rides up here (Mildura) and it hasn’t been too bad, but I’ll see how things go. A stage win would be nice, but it will all depend on how we tackle the tour from a team perspective.”
The six-day, seven-stage tour begins today with a 155-kilometre road race from Mildura to Robinvale.