Jayco Herald Sun Tour
Founded in 1952, the Jayco Herald Sun Tour is Australia's and indeed one of the world’s oldest cycling stage races. Staged in October each year, the race is owned and backed by the Herald Sun newspaper, Australia’s largest daily and part of the global News Limited Group.
The race is internationally ranked and recognized by the world governing body for cycling, the Union Cycliste Internationale. As such the Tour is a major professional teams-based event which includes some of the best cyclists in the world.
The first tour in 1952 was the first professional stage race held in Victoria since the 1934 Centenary Thousand Classic. An estimated 500,000 people throughout Victoria saw the Sun Tour as it was known then. Of the 56 starters only 18 finished the six-day event throughout Victoria.
59 years on and the Tour is undergoing a renaissance. With significant support from key Tour sponsors including Jayco and the Victorian Government, this iconic event now demands daily electronic and print news coverage as the stars of today and tomorrow go head to head in the battle for supremacy in Australia’s oldest stage race.
The Tour became a part of the State Government hallmark events calendar in 2005, with an injection of State funding to support the growth of the event and development of the Tour. A major revamp with a new business plan, new management team and enhanced world ranking has laid the foundation for strong growth with dramatic increases in numbers of riders and entourage, global media coverage (200 countries in 2007) and dramatically increased local coverage through Channel 10.
As such, the Tour is now a major international race and generates significant economic impact and media exposure for the towns involved. Australia is also one of the world’s foremost cycling nations, and the success of riders such as Brad McGee, Baden Cooke, Stuart O’Grady, Robbie McEwen, Cadel Evans, Trent Lowe and Matt Wilson has given Australian riders and events great credibility and interest globally.