Smith to ride tour
INJURY free and pumping the pedals at 700 kilometres a week in preparation for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Leongatha’s Stuart Smith will be riding alongside the likes of elite riders Simon Gerrans, Matt Goss, and Simon Clark; all Tour de France riders.
The Tour is on January 3-6, 2013 and Stuart said he’s as fit as he’s ever been.
“The only one of the top tier of riders missing will be Cadel Evans,” Smith said.
Stuart was approached by Australian-based team Search2Retain and will ride for this group in 2013. The Herald Sun tour will be the first race in his new team.
In what will be a huge January for Stuart, he will then contest the Australian Road Race Titles in Ballarat in the Under 23’s section; the last year before he goes into open age.
Smith rates his chances of winning or of at least a top three finish as very realistic.
“I placed tenth last year and seventh the year before but I am a lot fitter now than in previous years and a lot of the riders have past the age limit,” Smith told The Star.
“A lot can happen in a race but I am hopeful of a good placing in the road race title,”
Smith’s lead up form has been exceptional with a solid showing in the Tour of Bright on December 1 and 2 where he finished third overall for the VIS team after coming second in the Saturday road race over 140 kilometres. On the Sunday he finished fourth in the Bright to Mt Hotham 60 kilometre stage which included a grinding 30km uphill climb to the finish at Hotham.
He received $200 and a medallion for his efforts.
Stuart spent about 10 days in Bright riding up some of the biggest mountains both before and after the tour; including riding with Simon Gerrans on one particular training ride.
On December 8 and 9 Stuart headed to Tasmania for the Launceston Classic and finished fifth in the 100 kilometre road race against a very strong Australian field which included gun rider Richie Porte.
“I was pleased to be a couple of placings ahead of Richie in the race.”
To help keep him fighting fit Stuart has gone on a gluten free diet and is also having some personal training to keep the body working properly.
He has also just completed a Degree in Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Finance but a career in this field is on ice until Stuart assesses where he can go with his riding.
Stuart has been well supported around town and the staff at Lulu’s is supporting him all the way; Stuart loves his coffee breaks!
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