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Awesome Annemiek

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Story: Andrew Amos Photo: TDW Sport.

Annemiek van Vleuten’s crash at Rio was horrific. However, it only seemed to spur her on. Only one month after breaking her spine during the Olympics Road Race, she was back on her bike and on form. She finished her 2016 season with a win in her return race, the Lotto Belgium Tour, ahead of Marianne Vos. But in 2017, she’s gone from great to legendary. She has proven herself as one of the best climbers in the Women’s World Tour, taking stages at the Giro Rosa on slopes of 27%, winning atop the Col d’Izoard in La Course, and conquering the hilly Individual Time Trial at Worlds in Bergen. In all her Women’s World Tour participations, she has only failed to finish in the top 5 twice. She finished 2nd on the Women’s World Tour rankings behind her compatriot – and winner of that fateful Rio Road Race – Anna van der Breggen. In her homeland of the Netherlands, she won the Boels Rental Ladies Tour in September, as well as the National Time Trial Championships. As an Orica-Scott rider however, and as an ambassador for Ride WA, her second home is Australia. She loves riding Down Under, winning the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race back in January. Her return to form is nothing short of spectacular, producing her best season ever in 2017. She finishes it off in November at the Tour of Margaret River, as a World champion, where you can expect her to blow everyone away up the Mur du Hay.

Hogg caps brilliant career with Tour selection

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Cove Legal Racing has selected Australian cricketing superstar Brad Hogg in their 2017 TOMR Team. With a mix of exuberance and extraordinary skills “Hoggy” has spun his way into Australian cricketing folklore by his virtue of being able to take wickets at crucial points in big games. How that athleticism and energy translates to cycling will be of great interest in November, we can almost hear the chants of “Hoggy, Hoggy” on The Mur de Hay. Brad was recently announced as an Ambassador for Lifeline and Cove Legal has supported Youth Focus for many years, so the CLR team will be also be riding this year to help increase awareness of mental health issues.

Irishman has eyes on Tour

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It’s six months before the Giro ‘d Italia arrives on Irish shores and amongst the numerous tasks needing completion before the biggest event in the history of the Island sits the most fearsome task of all, someone has to travel around to all of the Churches and inform them that they will not be able to conduct their normal services when the race comes through their respective villages. Who do you send? They have to be strong, but not abrasive, they have to be firm but not pushy and they will have to drink twenty-nine cups of tea in a day and consume cakes and biscuits beyond measure.

Since his retirement from the pro peloton, Stephen Gallagher has quietly earned himself the reputation as one of the best race organisers in Europe. It is with great enthusiasm and anticipation that we welcome him to our TOMR team as our Race Director for 2017.

First up on Stephen’s agenda is to secure longer sections of closed roads to move us all closer to the Pro Tour experience.

Tea anyone?

WM3 to ride TOMR

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It’s probably the worst kept secret in cycling, but Marianne Vos is returning to the 2017 Tour of Margaret River with the whole of her WM3 Pro Cycling Team (previously Rabo-Liv). All eleven riders along with four staff will be heading down under in early November for a training camp and to participate in VOS MAX and TOMR. In addition to Marianne, the team includes several riders who are champions in their own right, Riejanne Markus, Anouska Koster, Lauren Kitchen, Kasia Niewiadoma and star of the 2016 Tour, Moniek Tenniglo. “We are hoping to establish The Margaret River Region as a training base for  Pro Teams in the European Winter, so having one of the highest-profile women’s teams in the world coming to the region in 2017 is a huge step for us towards that objective,” said Event Director Rebecca Cotton. “Marianne is so much more than a great bike rider, her commitment to the development of cycling in general and women’s cycling specifically is the primary reason we have been able to secure the team for the 2017 Tour.”

Stay tuned for details of our VOS MAX Academy that will give young riders the opportunity to ride with the team in the lead-up to the Tour. Photo: Paul Foulonneau – GripGrab Media Crew

 

 

Van Vleuten to ride ToMR

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On August 7th, 2016 Annemiek Van Vleuten was charging towards an Olympic gold medal before a dreadful crash just 12km from the finish line left her motionless on the side of the road, and everyone watching the live coverage concerned for her welfare. While her Dutch team mate Anna van der Breggen went on to win the Gold Medal,  Annemiek was taken to hospital, later to be diagnosed with severe concussion and three lumbar spinal fractures.  Fast forward to Cadel Evan’s Great Ocean Road Race just six months later and Annemiek crossed the line first to to take the overall victory. A few months after CEGORR she had climbed to the top of the UCI rankings, completing the most remarkable of comebacks. Annemiek joins a growing list of female stars who will be participating in the 2017 Tour of Margaret River as the Tour seeks to shine a spotlight on women’s racing and participation in 2017. “The way it’s shaping up this will be the best field of women cyclists ever assembled for a bike race in WA, and perhaps the best in Australia since the World Championships in 2010,” stated ToMR Event Director Rebecca Cotton.

Tigerland takes shape

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This year we are moving our headquarters and race village to Nannup for a special version of the Tour that we are calling “Tigerland”. The routes for the 2017 Tour will feature some of our absolute favourite roads in WA, all specially selected to be challenging, scenic and safe. The Tour begins with two days of riding commencing on Wednesday November 8th. These days will be an opportunity for participants to mix with our professional riders in a relaxed atmosphere and take in the scenery that is often missed in the hectic environment of racing. The three racing stages of the Tour will commence on Friday November 10th with a Team Time Trial that will classify teams into race groups for the rest of the Tour.

Numerous accommodation options exist in and around Nannup and we will be establishing our own camping village within the town. The townships of Margaret River, Busselton, Bridgetown, Balingup and Manjimup are all located within 40 minutes drive of race start lines and all have good options for accommodation as well.  Book early though, as we anticipate the whole region being sold out for the duration of the Tour. To help with planning, teams still have the option to secure a place in the 2017 Tour via the payment of a $200 deposit. Registrations will officially open on June 1st 2017 and close on July 1st 2017, or when the race is full. Please follow this link to secure a place for your team in the 2017 Tour.

Welcome to our new Race Director

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Very few Australians have had more experience on the World Tour than Scott Sunderland. As a Pro Rider, Director Sportif and Race Director, Scott has seen it all, including masterminding victories in The Tour de France, Pari-Roubaix and helping to establish Team Sky. In 2015 Scott came to ToMR in the capacity of an observer and could quite often be seen riding his bike leisurely around stages in the company of Matt Keenan. In 2016 Scott will return to Margaret River as Race Director.This is a huge step forward for the Tour and for everyone on our crew it represents an opportunity to learn from one of the best in the business.

Our Dream Team

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Generally regarded as one of the best Strategists in the state we are proud to announce the signing of Rebecca Cotton to our team to help implement and develop the Tour. With the addition of Rebecca’s experience and expertise we are now actively looking at the challenges and logistics around creating an event that embraces more of Regional WA and potentially has a position on the Women’s World Tour calendar. To all of the teams who have traditionally participated in the Tour we would like to again express our sincere thanks for your support and we would like to invite you to come with us on the journey we are undertaking…..even if we are not quite sure of the final destination!

Learning to Fly

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Mobius Future Racing is set to kick start their campaign for the Road National Championships in January by sending a strong team to Western Australia to compete in the 2016 Satalyst Tour of the Margaret River.

The team is only in their second year of racing at a national level, however they are quickly showing themselves as one of the top ranked National Road Series teams and as a hub for young riders to develop. Based in NSW, Sydney, General Manager Tom Petty was looking forward to getting back to WA.

With two sponsors in WA, MFR are looking forward to spending some time riding and dining, but Tom made it clear they were there to race and start the process for a strong Summer. “It’ll be our first time heading down to the Margaret River, I think it’s a great place for a bike race, we’re excited about the stages and we’ll be doing our best to make it hard, but we’re also looking forward to spending some time in the region and sampling what’s on offer.”

“We’re bringing a good all-round team, we want to send a message early in the team time trial, it’s not often you get to race this discipline, and it’s a really good way of working a few things out. Sam Burston will lead the guys, he’s had a strong NRS season already, and spent some time this season in France showing what he’s capable of, he’s got the attitude and ability to step up to the pro ranks in 2017, but for now we’re just focusing on one race at a time. Alex Nazarewicz (picture) will be another rider that should be capable of impacting the sprint finishes of the Tour.”

MFR’s two WA based partners, Geraldton Bikes and 2V Net will also be coming down for the event. Geraldton Bikes owner Leighton Thomas is hoping cycling can be a big part of regional WA’s future “With the cycling sphere in Australia taking a lot of criticism of late about the number of race days, it’s great to see some positive action, it would be great to see more of the top teams coming here to race and build this event, I’m not sure many teams realise the positive influence they have on the local kids and families watching. WA is a great place and we want to keep spreading the importance of getting kids active and back outdoors, exploring on their bikes”

For West Australian teams looking to win group one of the Tour, it could be a case of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Photo courtesy of The Daily Tour

Cycle City

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Tour week this year kicks off in Albany with the Albany Cycling Club hosting a Team Time Trial on Nov 5th and The Amazing Albany Bike Ride (TAABR) on the following day. Join us and some special guests in Albany and in the week that follows as we take the long (and leisurely) way to Margaret River where the race itself will begin on Nov 11th. Sincere thanks to the City of Albany for it’s support of TAABR and Breakaway WA, we can’t wait to visit Cycle City!  Register to ride TAABR or Breakaway WA.