THE profile of the Tour of The South West continues to grow, with some of the country’s top cyclists already nominating for the event.
The three-stage two-day cycling event is scheduled for April 27 and 28 and the expanded program has already attracted Victorian masters cyclist of the year Shane Miller.
The tour, now in its second year, has added a masters’ race and separate women’s race this year.
Miller is busy putting in the hard yards under coach Mark Fenner, spending up to 20 hours a week on the bike.
“Mark has a proven track record of getting maximum potential from all his riders,” Miller said.
“The level of masters racing is stepping up every year, so I’ve had to keep looking at ways to continually improve my performance.
“It means there are a few early starts and late finishes to get all the training in, but it helps having a wife who is also a competitive cyclist.”
Miller’s wife Veronica will compete in the women’s category. It will mark the first time they have both raced in the south-west.
“I’ve raced all over country Victoria but never around Warrnambool,” Miller said.
“We’re both really looking forward to spending the weekend down that way.”
Miller has won the past four Australian masters time trial championships and has his eyes set on stage two of the Tour of The South West, a 12.7-kilometre circuit time trial at Wangoom.
“The beauty of the time trial is there is no luck involved,” he said.
“You never miss a breakaway or mess up a sprint finish in a time trial. The result is in your control from start to finish. The fastest rider wins.”
Other riders expected to enter include last year’s A grade winner Mark O’Brien, women’s winner Lauretta Hanson and other National Road Series elite riders.
This year the tour forms part of the nine-stage Victorian Road Series and will again feature road race and time trial stages at Wangoom and a criterium around the Warrnambool cemetery.
More than 300 cyclists are expected to enter the tour this year.
Registrations close on April 21.
Visit www.tourofthesouthwest.com.au for more information or to enter.