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The Tour of the Great South Coast, one of Australia’s most respected and hotly-contested road cycling classics, will take another giant leap in 2019 with expansion to six days.

Founded by Caribou Publications & Events in 2012, the gruelling tour is now a genuine cross-border race – with the opening three days in the beautiful Limestone Coast region of South Australia, followed by the final three in  Victoria’s spectacular Glenelg Shire.

The eight-stage tour will be raced over 541 kilometres of visually-splendid countryside, starting with a traditional criterium at Mount Gambier’s Vansittart Park on Tuesday, August 27, and ending with another crit on Portland’s waterfront on Sunday, September 1.

Backed by joint major sponsors Visit Victoria and Campolina Racing Syndicates, the multi-sponsored event will embrace four municipalities – the City of Mount Gambier, the District Council of Grant and Naracoorte Lucindale Council in South Australia, plus Glenelg across the border which has hosted the tour since its inception.

Originally a five-day event, the tour’s 2019 upgrade will see two stages conducted in the charming South Australian town of Naracoorte on Thursday, October 29. Spectators will be treated to a 30-lap morning criterium around the central business district before the cyclists then take-off on a unique 16-kilometre teams time trial to Naracoorte Caves – South Australia’s only world-listed heritage site.

South Australia’s other stage – a challenging five-lap 128-kilometre road race on a town and rural circuit at the quaintly-attractive Port MacDonnell – will be held on Wednesday, August 28.

After three diverse days of the racing in South Australia, the anticipated 100-rider field will face a testing time in Glenelg with a re-constituted, twisting 95km stage from Casterton to Heywood on Friday, August 30, then the popular  121km four-lapper at  stunning Cape Bridgewater on the Saturday, climaxed by Portland’s decisive grand finale criterium on Sunday.

Caribou’s managing director John Craven, who worked closely with representatives of the four municipalities on shaping the course, said he was enthralled by the sheer beauty of the overall route and the challenges it posed for the cyclists.

“It will take a rider of genuine class to win this race,” he said. “The Great South Coast region of Victoria and South Australia is a cycling paradise.”

Tour of the Great South Coast

Stage 1 of the Tour starts on Tuesday 27 August in Mount Gambier and finishes in Portland on Sunday 1 September. For further information regarding the tour visit: https://cycling.org.au/vic/2019-tour-great-south-coast

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