Article at http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/15564397/rotto-stages-for-upgraded-cycling-race/
Rotto stages for upgraded cycling race
Kent Acott, The West Australian
Updated December 6, 2012, 3:01 am
The status of Perth's premier professional road race is to be upgraded and, for the first time, will include two stages on Rottnest Island.
Next year, the Tour de Perth will be the first event of Cycling Australia's Subaru National Road Series, bringing together some of the best riders in Australia, China, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand.
The event, to be held from April 11-14, will feature an 80km road race and 29km individual time trail on Rottnest, a 120km road race in the Perth Hills, a one-hour criterium in Kalamunda and a 112km road race around Perth and Kings Park.
"Hosting this event will put WA on the professional road cycling map," Tourism Minister Kim Hames said yesterday.
"This series involves professional teams competing in a number of events staged across the country and is one of the main features of the Australian road racing calendar."
CIC Events managing director Craig Smith-Gander said the event would provide an opportunity to watch world-class international cyclists compete in the heart of Perth.
"This is a brand new concept for WA and one we intend to grow and develop to elevate Perth as the cycling capital of Australia," Mr Smith- Gander said. "The event will provide an extraordinary experience for competitors, sponsors and spectators.
"Community events and mass participation rides will also be included in the event program, encouraging everyone to get involved."
Cycling WA chief executive Garry Chandler said April would be a festival of cycling in WA, with the Tour de Perth, the World Cycling Tour Masters event and the 2013 Cycling Australia National Track Masters Championships all taking place in and around Perth.
He said the events would promote the city and broader regions to a national audience.
Rottnest Island Authority chairman John Driscoll said the race would provide a fantastic opportunity to show Rottnest as an exciting tourism destination.
Last month, the status of the Margaret River Pro surfing event was also upgraded and included as a World Championship Tour event.
What is the significance of this "upgrade" to racing and comp-riders?
I would guess that there will be support lead-up race/s of some sort for club riders and the like. Any chance of a unicycle-special stage? I'd love to beat some of you guys for a change.
I don't go watching many sporting events - where is the fun in watching someone practicing a skillg? - but I do like to see the Crites around Perth each year and have gone to a couple of meets at the drome in recent times. Certainly a day trip to Rotto would be enough to entice me to check out the tour.