Copyright: Con Chronis

The 2017 Subaru National Road Series continues this weekend with the Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley, a three-day four-stage tour for both men and women set to test the fields in one of Australia’s most picturesque cycling locations and around some of the most iconic Subaru NRS courses.

2017 Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley Summary

Friday’s dual stage day opens with a nine-kilometre individual time trial at Dal Zotto wines in Whitfield, while the Tour once again returns to the streets of Wangaratta for the CBD ‘s afternoon criterium.

On Saturday, the iconic Strade Nero course in Oxley will host the Tour’s third stage, a 118km trek which is famous for awe-inspiring visuals as it crosses five dirt sections.

The Tour will wrap up on Sunday with a testing 100km road race through the Wangaratta area, which takes in two epic climbs of the Ryan’s Taminick Loop and.  Riders will first face the Taminick Gap (8%) before the picturesque climb of Ryan’s Lookout before descending into Wangaratta and the Sam Miranda King Valley.

  • Friday 27 August – Stage 1 – ITT from 9:30am
  • Friday 27 August – Stage 2 – Women 2:30pm Men 4:00pm
  • Saturday 28 August – Stage 3 – Men 8:00am Women 1:00pm
  • Sunday 29 August – Stage 4 – Women 9:00am Men 1:30pm

Men’s Preview

The first two events of the 2017 Subaru NRS provided a mouth-watering teaser of what to expect throughout the year, with a Game of Thrones-esque battle at the top of the men’s rankings with the battle expected to be fierce across the 24 teams which will line up this weekend.

Young Rider’s rankings leader Mathew Ross is confirmed, as is fellow Victorian Liam White who broke through at last month’s Tour of the Great South Coast for his maiden Subaru NRS stage win.

“We once again have a very well-rounded team so we’ll aim to make the race like we did at South Coast hopefully coming away with a high result overall,” said White. “We also aim to be represented well at the front of the race.

“But we expect Isowhey Sports SwissWellness to want to bounce back after South Coast so as a team we will have to be on our game from the opening stage.”

The aforementioned Isowhey Sports SwissWellness sits just 30 points behind in second and will be bolstered this weekend by the return of 2016 Subaru NRS champion Joe Cooper who will make his 2017 Series debut after starting the season overseas.

As Isowhey Sports SwissWellness chase a startling eighth consecutive Subaru NRS crown, Cooper is aware it will be a tough feat with a host of teams challenging their reign in 2017.

“I rate that the other teams are getting stronger and stepping up, this makes the racing harder and the winners definitely have to work hard now for the results,” said Cooper, who will be joined by the likes of Sean Lake and Michael Freiberg this weekend. “It will be an interesting battle between the teams this weekend and I am definitely thinking we (Isowhey Sports SwissWellness) will need to be on our toes.

 

The Subaru National Road Series women’s individual rankings is set for a post-Tour shake up following this weekend’s fourth event of the season, the Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley with eleven teams to line up.

Heading into the Tour, Holden Women’s Cycling Team holds a commanding lead on the team’s and a stranglehold on the individual rankings, however the absence of the core of their team will make for an interesting weekend in Victoria’s Alpine region.

The top five on the women’s individual rankings, Holden Women’s Cycling Team’s quartet of Shannon Malseed, Grace Brown, Lisen Hockings and Louisa Lobigs plus Lucy Kennedy (High5 Dream Team), will be missing from the Tour.

The quintet were justifiably rewarded with a spot on the High5 Australian Women’s Development Team for the European season and they – with Jessica Pratt who sits fourth on the Subaru NRS Young Rider’s rankings – just completed their first UCI Women’s World Tour stage race, the Tour of Norway.

Headlining the list set to pounce at the Tour this weekend is the Australian Cycling Team pair of Rebecca Wiasak (High5 Dream Team) and Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSWIS Sydney University), with the pair recently returning from successful racing stints on the recent USA summer circuit.