• The area around Wangaratta offers quite varied terrain to test the peloton (cycling victoria)Source: cycling victoria
The local racing season is in full swing as Friday will see the first dual male and female event of the NRS season with the Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley beginning in Wangaratta. The race is best known for its take on the Strade Bianche route, the Strade Nero Stage 3 which tests the peloton over numerous dirt sections.
By
Cycling Central

18 Aug 2016 - 12:05 PM 

Friday is a double stage day with the tour getting underway with a nine kilometre individual time trial in Whitfield.

In the afternoon, the tour returns to the streets of Wangaratta for the 39 kilometre CBD criterium in Docker Street with those with ambitions for the general classification expected to scrap it out for the time bonuses.

Saturday is the day of the iconic Strade Nero course. Some minor changes to the route see the stage extended to 123km for the men and 120km for the women. An extra section of dirt pave has been added and will ensure another memorable day for riders and fans alike with the potential for punctures, mechanicals and all the chaos that will bring.

One rider keen to return to action after breaking her collarbone in atrocious conditions at the 2016 Battle on the Border is High5 Dream Team’s Lucy Kennedy. Only one stage of the event was run as the rest of the race was flooded as the region experienced torrential rain and it was a very unlucky accident for the Queenslander.

“It's exciting to have the full High5 Dream Team back together so we are able make the most of everyone's strengths," said Kennedy.

“I really enjoyed King Valley last year, particularly the Strade Nero gravel climb, so am looking forward to racing there again” she said.

Sunday's fourth and final stage introduces a new course to the tour, Ryan’s Taminick Loop. Utilising two of the most popular climbs in the Wangaratta area, riders will climb Taminick Gap, averaging 8% for 1.2 kilometres, before completing a 20 kilometre loop through Glenrowan then climbing Taminick Gap again. The peloton then climbs Ryan’s Lookout before descending into Wangaratta, and complete the 100km stage at Sam Miranda King Valley.

After claiming both his and his team's first ever stage win in the Subaru National Road Series at the Tour of the Great South Coast, JML Racing Team’s Jake Klajnblat is eager to build on the momentum gained there.

“It was great to get that first win on the board for myself and the team at the Tour of the Great South Coast.

“The whole team has been lifted by the result, and we head into King Valley full of confidence.

“It will be a really strong field, Avanti Isowhey Sports and State of Matter MAAP will both be fighting it out for GC, so we’ll be looking to get in a few breaks and pick up a few more stage wins” he said.

It will be a solid mens field for the event with everyone looking to see if Avanti IsoWhey Sports' riders Joe Cooper, Pat Shaw and Robbie Hucker, or their teammate and Tour of the Great South Coast winner Sam Crome can be beaten.

Crome and Avanti IsoWhey Sports defend to win Tour of Great South Coast
Sam Crome (Avanti IsoWhey Sports) was crowned the overall winner of the Lakes Oil-Fulton Hogan Tour of the Great South Coast, the second event in the mens Subaru National Road Series (NRS) after a long layoff.

 

The likes of Mobius Future Racing and SASI/Callidus had very solid races at the Tour of the Great South Coast with two stage wins apiece and will be attempting to build on that success here.

Keep up to date with all the action via live race updates on Twitter by following @Subaru_NRS and hashtags #ToKV16 #StradeNero #NRS16