• Simon Gerrans (R) at the 2016 Tour de France. (Getty)Source: Getty
The Jayco Herald Sun Tour field deepened further with Simon Gerrans lining up alongside team-mate Esteban Chaves and three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome for the 2017 race.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Jayco Herald Sun Tour
8 Dec 2016 - 1:28 PM  UPDATED 8 Dec 2016 - 1:36 PM

Froome is the Jayco Herald Sun Tour defending champion and the rider who Gerrans will be tasked with upsetting at the 1-5 February stage race in Victoria. 

The race will be the last in a full calendar of Australian events for the 36-year-old Orica-BikeExchange rider. 

“It’s a race I used to skip school to watch when I was growing up, so it’s important to me and it’s a race I always have tried to support when I can," Gerrans said.

“I haven't done it in a couple of years, but it's a race that I grew up watching as a kid and a race I really aspired to win really early in my career.”

Jayco Herald Sun Tour heads to the mountains
Australia’s oldest stage race received a facelift for its 2017 route, with more hills and mountains on the menu as the local riders take on the likes of Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange).

Gerrans said racing around the roads of Victoria was a big factor in returning to the race for the first time since 2014.

“I’m just excited to get back racing in Victoria again. The race is also growing in strength and popularity and I'm also going to have a big January. By the time I string the nationals, Down Under and Cadel's race together I should be in good shape by the time the Sun Tour comes around that's for sure."

"By the time I string the nationals, Down Under and Cadel's race together I should be in good shape by the time the Sun Tour comes around that's for sure."

Gerrans, who last won the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in 2006, said winning would be difficult with Chaves and Froome in the mix.

“I'll never say it's not possible to win because you never know how the race will unfold, but looking at the course I think it's going to be a two-rider race to be very honest with you.

"And fortunately, one of those riders (Chaves) is going to be on my team."