Moira Shire will host the opening two days of the Tour of the Murray River, Australia's longest road cycling classic.
The 848 kilometre eight-day tour will start in Yarrawonga on Sunday, September 2, with a 36 kilometre lunchtime criterium on the Lake Mulwala waterfront.
Stage One will be followed by a 78 kilometre afternoon road race from Yarrawonga to Cobram, via Telford, Tungamah and Katamatite.
Numurkah will be the venue for a 25.5 kilometre school circuit criterium on Monday, September 3, before the anticipated 130-strong field heads off on an 82 kilometre road trek from Numurkah to Nathalia, via Waaia, Picola and Barmah.
The event, founded in 1996 as the three-day Tour of Sunraysia and raced on courses in and around Mildura, will be backed by seven municipalities - Moira, Campaspe, Gannawarra, Swan Hill, Balranald, Yarriambiack and Mildura.
Previous winners include South Australian Brett Aitken, madison gold medallist at the Sydney Olympics; New Zealander Greg Henderson, world points score champion; Geelong's Leigh Howard, double world track champion; Sydney's Peter McDonald, Australian open road race champion; and Queenslander Jonathan Cantwell, reigning national criterium titleholder.
South Australian Jack Bobridge, brilliant winner of the Australian open road championship in Buninyong in January and world individual pursuit record-holder, finished third in the Murray tour as a 17-year-old in 2007.
The tour, backed by Tourism Victoria, is one of 11 races on Cycling Australia's national road teams series competition.
It is also an important component of the four-race Scody Cup, Australia's premier domestic road cycling competition.Visit Website