Cycling Australia has announced its approval for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour to be staged in February from 2011.
The Victorian road stage race was founded in 1952 and has been scheduled at the end of the road season for almost 60 years, but changes to the international calendar in recent times have prompted race organisers to apply to Cycling Australia to move the event.
The Board of Management of Cycling Australia met last weekend and has approved the change with the 2011 event to be held from February 8 to 13. The proposed new dates will be submitted to the UCI (International Cycling Union) for inclusion in the 2011 calendar.
Graham Fredericks, Cycling Australia CEO, said the Board considered the proposal in detail before reaching a decision.
"In arriving at this decision the Board addressed three key objectives, firstly to protect the achievements of the Santos Tour Down Under; secondly to protect the integrity of Australian track cycling, namely the Australian Track Championships and thirdly to retain the Jayco Herald Sun Tour on the UCI calendar and restore the event to its previous stature and profile," Fredericks explained.
"Cycling is a growth sport in Australia both in terms of participation and profile and on the world stage Australia is a cycling success story.
"Both the Santos Tour Down Under and the Jayco Herald Sun Tour have been major contributors to this success, as has the crucial investment by corporate partners as well as Federal, State and Local governments."
However the Board also recognised that a date change alone will not secure the future of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
"Therefore the Board has identified the redevelopment of the Oceania road calendar from mid-February through to April each year as a key priority," Fredericks said.
"With this in mind Cycling Australia plans to work with the organisers of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and other events in Australia and New Zealand to develop an exciting series of racing that will attract teams from Australia and New Zealand but will also showcase talent from Europe, Asian and North America."
The calendar change, once endorsed by the UCI, will see the Jayco Herald Sun Tour staged in the week after the Australian Track Championships which are scheduled from February 1 to 6 in 2011.
The Santos Tour Down Under is raced on the UCI's ProTour calendar and is expected to be scheduled for January 18 to 23.