2019 NRS comes to a close with Spirit of Tasmania Cycling Tour
Closing out 2019 is the Spirit of Tasmania Cycling Tour which features five days of action-packed racing from Tuesday 3 to Sunday 7 December, taking the peloton through the vast and rugged wilderness of our isolated island state.
Although the 2019 NRS Teams' GC result is locked up with Roxsolt Attaquer and InForm TM Insight MAKE, the teams have sent their best riders as they look to finish the season in style with some riders singing their swan song before they depart to international continental and World Tour circuits.
RIDERS TO WATCH
Jarrad Drizners (InForm TM Insight MAKE)
Following his sensational form in the National Road Series throughout 2019. He has helped propel InForm TM Insight MAKE to the top of the teams ranking and in turn himself as the leader of the individual rankings. This hasn't gone unnoticed as he recently secured a contract with the American continental team Hagens Berman Axeon. Jarad will be looking to end his season in style looking to add the final feather in his cap by taking out the General Classification.
They may have been the perennial favourites leading into the National Road Series in 2019, but by choosing to focus on their UCI level races abroad, Team BridgeLane let their title chances slip early on. Coming strong towards the end of the year, Tom Petty's squad aren't looking to concede the racing just yet. Hoping to finish the season on a high Team BridgeLane will be fielding their most robust contingent possible. Featuring both UCI World Tour bound Chris Harper (Lotto Jumbo in 2020) and 2018 GC winner Dylan Sunderland (Team NTT in 2020).
Samuel Hill (Team Nero Bianchi)
Sitting in second overall in the individual rankings; Sam will be without the full contingent Nero Bianchi teammates this week as only Robert Matthews will be in support. Rumoured to be on the move next season, it'll be curious to see how the 23-year-old how the Nero pair fair.
Justine Barrow (Roxsolt Attaquer)
With the Women's individual series all locked up, and Emily Herfoss (Roxsolt Attaquer) not heading to Tasmania, it will be up to Justine to fulfil the GC hopeful role. Not new to the tour following her victory in 2018, Justine will be sure to take it in her stride and will be eager to go come Thursday for the women's opening stage.
Matilda Raynolds (Specialized Women's Racing)
With the tour frequently coming down to the wire on the final stage: a criterium around Devonport. Consistently being in contention and forever looking sharp, it very well may be Matilda's moment to shine.
Jenelle Crooks (Sydney Uni - Staminade)
Looking to follow up her strong outing at the Tour of Gippsland, after falling just short of the GC hopes, Janelle will be back with a vengeance as she looks to claim her first and the final GC of the 2019 series.
Men Prologue – Launceston ITT
Tuesday, 3 December 2019
The Brisbane St West Individual Time Trial returns for 2019 to again kick off the men’s tour, with this short but very steep zig-zag climb making for an exciting spectacle and setting an early precedent for a tough tour.
Men Stage 1 – George Town to Grindelwald
Wednesday, 4 December 2019
This undulating course from George Town to Grindelwald is sure to set the racing alight early, with a tough pinch up to the stage finish in Grindelwald always seeing attacks from riders vying for the stage win.
Men Stage 2 / Women Stage 1 – Longford to Poatina
Thursday, 5 December 2019
Returning to the renowned Poatina climb, this stage will certainly set the general classification contenders apart for both the men’s and women’s races. A stage for the best climbers to shine.
Men Stage 3 / Women Stage 2 – Ulverstone to Riana
Friday, 6 December 2019
Featuring the famous Gunns Plains climb, this is the last real opportunity for the climbers to make their mark on the race and overall honours. The spectacular scenery will make for the perfect backdrop to the exciting racing.
Men Stage 4 / Women Stage 3 – Devonport Criterium
Saturday, 7 December 2019
The flat and fast Devonport criterium returns to conclude the tour for both men and women, with the battle for the general classification often coming right down to the finish of this stage. For stage honours, it’s a chance finally for the sprinters to show their speed.