Some of Australia’s best and brightest will have the chance to represent their country at the 2015 Herald Sun Tour with the announcement of the squads for the KordaMentha Australian Team and the Jayco-AIS Under-23 National Team. The 2015 event will be staged from Wednesday 4th to Sunday 8th February, as the climax to an exciting summer of cycling and will mark the 62nd edition of the race. Headlining the KordaMentha Australian Team will be a host of riders with UCI WorldTour experience including Cameron Wurf, Lachlan Morton and newly-crowned national criterium champion, Steele von Hoff. Lachlan’s older brother, Gus Morton, who returns to competitive racing this season with the US-based Continental squad Jelly Belly after a four-year hiatus, along with talented up-and-comers Chris Hamilton and Nick Schultz round out the six-man squad. “It’s definitely a great all-round team and I’m really happy with it,” von Hoff said. “With Lachie and Angus on the team we’ve got GC options as well. Cameron Wurf was riding very strong at Nationals, he’ll be another one to watch. The prologue will suit him perfectly, people forget about his time trialling abilities,” von Hoff continued. Fifth in the 2014 Prologue, and just two seconds from the podium, von Hoff is confident of forcing his way into the top three this year. “It would be nice to be wearing the first leader’s jersey of the race coming into the first sprint stage in Bendigo,” he said. Von Hoff’s speed along with the strong climbing pedigrees of Wurf and Morton should ensure the team remains in the action right up until the Jayco Herald Sun Tour’s thrilling finale on Arthurs Seat. “Arthurs Seat is a terrible stage for me, but it is my home race,” explained von Hoff, having grown up not far from the base of the climb. “It’s where I train.” No doubt eager to prove they have what it takes against their more senior compatriots, the Jayco-AIS Under-23 National Team exudes strength on paper that will more than likely translate to the roads of Victoria over the five days of racing. The members of the impressive squad range in age from 19 to 21, with Jack Haig, Jack Beckinsale, Ryan Cavanagh, Harry Carpenter, Alex Clements and Robert Power all lining up in green and gold. Armed with a recently announced three year agreement from the Victorian Government, the 62nd edition of Australia’s oldest stage race will conclude an action packed summer of cycling. Victorian Minister for Sport, John Eren MP, said the Victorian Government is proud to work with a range of dedicated key partners to support the event. “It not only brings together a star studded peloton including international and national riders, the Tour injects a significant boost to local sport, tourism, and investment. It helps stimulate regional economies and new job opportunities as well as community spirit,” Mr Eren said. “Importantly, events like these showcase the best of Victoria with some of our great tourist destinations covered by the stages of the event.” “These include the vibrant Southbank precinct in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, the rolling hills of Mt Macedon, the goldfields region of Bendigo, the wineries of Nagambie and Seymour’s majestic Goulburn River and Tallarook Ranges.” “And don’t forget the final stage atop Arthurs Seat on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula.” “The Jayco Herald Sun Tour highlights just how important major events are for all Victorians,” Mr Eren said. Event chairman, Tom Salom said the Tour wouldn’t be possible without the support of the host city councils and their organising committee teams. Starting with the City of Melbourne, and finishing with the Mornington Peninsula Shire, they will join the Macedon Ranges Shire, City of Greater Bendigo and Shire of Strathbogie in creating a memorable Tour, Mr Salom said. The Jayco Herald Sun Tour honour roll features the likes of 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins, Tour de France sprint champion Baden Cooke and stage winner Simon Gerrans. Defending champion Simon Clarke will return for ORICA-GreenEDGE with their full line-up to be announced shortly. The 2015 Jayco Herald Sun Tour will be presented by Jayco and the Herald Sun, along with the continued support from the Victorian State Government. KordaMentha Australian National Team Steele VON HOFF VIC 27 Newly-crowned Australian Criterium Champion, von Hoff is in sensational form. A devastating run of wins in the National Road Series in 2011 landed the Victorian a professional contract with the Garmin-Sharp WorldTour outfit over the last two-and-a-half seasons. Von Hoff is now signed to British-based NFTO team for 2015. Chris Hamilton VIC 19 Another young-gun who mixes road and MTB racing. Hamilton took out this year’s Under-23 Australian Criterium title in a great show of versatility for someone who has shown great climbing skills over previous seasons, winning stages of the Tour of Bright and finishing just off the podium at the Baw Classic. Angus Morton NSW 25 Returns to competitive cycling in 2015 with US-based Jelly Belly after retiring in 2010. Gus’ time away from the sport was spent studying media. He then went on to film ‘Thereabouts’ with brother Lachlan, documenting their 2500km ride from Port Macquarie to Uluru. Lachlan MORTON NSW 23 Sprung to the cycling world’s attention in 2010, finishing seventh overall at the Tour of Utah while still on junior gearing. 2013 was a massive year for Morton, wearing the overall leader’s jersey at both the Tour of Utah after winning a stage, and then the USA Pro Challenge where he went on to finish fifth on GC. Nick SCHULTZ QLD 20 Another graduate of the track, Schultz has been racing overseas since 2013, joining CR4C Roanne in France. A former Junior Oceania ITT Champion, the Queenslander landed a stagiaire ride with QuickStep feeder team, Etixx for the back end of last year. Cameron WURF TAS 31 Represented Australia at the 2004 Olympic Games in rowing before making the switch to professional cycling. Proved a strong domestique for Cannondale in the mountains the past two season, Wurf is also handy in time trials, winning Chrono Champenois in 2007. Has since earned top-10 finishes at the Tour of Turkey, Tour of China II, Tour of Japan, Tour of Taiwan and was also a runner-up at the Tour of Qinghai Lake. Jayco-AIS Australian U/23 Team Jack Haig VIC 21 A former Australian Under-23 MTB champion, Haig triumphed in the 2013 National Road Series, taking out the overall title. In 2014, Haig was third overall at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour behind winner Simon Clarke and Cameron Wurf. The impressive youngster was also the winner of the youth classification at last year’s Tour Down Under, earning a stagiaire ride with ORICA-GreenEDGE along with a long-term contract with the team. Jack Beckinsale NSW 21 An all-rounder who enjoyed a solid career in the junior ranks. Has snagged several podium finishes in stages of the Tour of China I. Finished 10th at this year’s Under-23 Australian Road Championships. Ryan Cavanagh QLD 19 2013 Junior Oceania Champion, Cavanagh was only just pipped for the podium at this year’s Australian Under-23 Road Championship, finishing in fourth place. Looming as a GC contender, Also shows considerable strength in time trials. Harry Carpenter SA 21 Winner of the 2014 Under-23 Oceania Time Trial title convincingly ahead of Campbell Flakemore and Oscar Stevenson. Spent 2014 riding for the Jayco-AIS program in Europe. Studying mechanical engineering. Alex Clements TAS 21 Yet another emerging talent out of Launceston. Clements was runner-up in the youth classification at last year’s Jayco Herald Sun Tour and when not riding with the Australian Under-23 program in Europe, has been based in Australia riding with the hugely successful Avanti outfit. Robert POWER WA 19 Enjoyed a phenomenal back-end to the 2014 season, winning two one-day classics in Italy on the way to his runner-up performance at the Tour de l’Avenir. Hails from the Midland Club in Perth, home of the Meyer brothers and Luke Durbridge.