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Herald Sun Tour brings stars of world cycling to Victoria

Donna Coutts, February 2, 2017 5:45PM Herald Sun

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Reading level: red

BE quick or you’ll miss them! The world’s top cyclists are flying at super speeds through a town near you.

Look out for Tour de France and Herald Sun Tour reigning* champion Chris Froome, popular mountain cycling star Esteban Chaves (whose nickname is the Colombian Kangaroo), and Dutchman Danny van Poppel.

The annual Herald Sun Tour is on around Victoria. The race began on Wednesday evening in the Melbourne city centre with a 2.1km prologue, which is a sprint. Danny van Poppel won the prologue in 2min 32.56 sec. van Poppel’s average speed was 49.6kmh.

Danny Van Poppel of Team Sky celebrates after winning the prologue of the  <i>Herald Sun</i> Tour. Picture: AFP media_cameraDanny Van Poppel of Team Sky celebrates after winning the prologue of the Herald Sun Tour. Picture: AFP

Yesterday’s stage 1 of the Tour began at Wangaratta, with the day’s finish line at Falls Creek, 174.2km away. Stage 2 is today and is from Mt Beauty to Beechworth (165.6km). Stage 3, on Saturday, is from Benalla to Mitchelton Winery (167.7km). And Stage 4, the final day of racing, is on Sunday at Kinglake. For that stage riders complete four laps of a circuit, for a total distance of 121km.

Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome of Team Sky in the prologue of the  <i>Herald Sun</i> Tour. Picture: AFP media_cameraThree-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome of Team Sky in the prologue of the Herald Sun Tour. Picture: AFP

Each of the longer stages will take around five hours to ride. When the riders finish the day’s stage, they rest, sleep and eat until the next stage starts the next day.

The race attracts top professional* male riders from around the world, who race together in teams. Though the main aim is to be the overall winning rider, team members work together while they are riding to help their best rider win. For instance, if it is a windy day, they will each take it in turns to ride in front of their best rider to protect him from the wind so he keeps some energy in reserve.

Esteban Chaves of Orica-Scott in Wednesday night’s prologue of the  <i>Herald Sun </i>Tour. Picture: AFP media_cameraEsteban Chaves of Orica-Scott in Wednesday night’s prologue of the Herald Sun Tour. Picture: AFP

Successful Australian cyclists, who live and race overseas for most of the year, come home for the event. One star Australian is Simon Gerrans, who rides for Australian team Orica-Scott. Gerrans has previously won two stages of the Tour de France and twice won the Herald Sun Tour, in 2005 and 2006. Australian Michael Hepburn rides for Orica-Scott, too. Hepburn won an Olympic silver medal last year in Rio as part of the team pursuit* squad in track cycling.

The race is also important for young local riders to be noticed and get practice against international riders.

For more information on the Herald Sun Tour visit


reigning: current, the last one to win the event

professional: gets paid to compete

pursuit: a type of cycling event on a track in which teams try to catch up to one another



Activity 1

Read through the article and use the information to complete the following:

1. Make a chart to show the following information for each stage of the Herald Sun Tour.

* Where (Start/finish)

* When

* Distance

2. The article names a number of top cyclists who are competing in this years’ race. List these cyclists and write at least one fact about them found in the article.

3. Riders race in teams, although there is an individual winner. What are the advantages of working as a team? What could be a disadvantage? For the ‘best rider’? For the rest of the team?

4. What do the riders do after they finish each stage? Why is this important?

5. How many kilometres is the Herald Sun Tour in total? (See if you can work out the distance independently then check your answer with a calculator.) Be sure to include four stages and the prologue in your calculations.

Extension: The tour visits a number of towns throughout Victoria which would benefit businesses in these areas. Choose a town where a stage starts or finishes and create a poster to encourage spectators to visit during the race. Ensure to include important information such as; name of town, dates to visit, what is happening (eg stage 2 starts or finishes) who to look out for, what else they can do while visiting the area etc.

(Tip: there is more information about the towns on the website listed at the bottom of the article.)

Extra Resources: A3 paper, markers, access to the internet, calculator

Time: allow about 50 minutes to complete this task

Curriculum links: English, Mathematics

Activity 2: ‘And the winner is …’

In a group of about five, create a short role play depicting the final stages of the Herald Sun Tour. The play should begin as the winner is about to cross the line and should show good sportsmanship. The result of the race in your play is up to you. Was it a close finish, or did they win easily? The roles you may consider can include; a commentator, cyclists, spectators, officials, reporter. Think about how the riders would be feeling? (tired, happy, disappointed) What actions would show these feelings? How can they show good sportsmanship (both the cyclist that won and those that didn’t) What kind of questions would a reporter ask?

Extension: Write a letter of support to one of the riders or one of the teams competing in this years’ race. Make your letter personal by including some things that you know about the cyclist or the team. You can find out more about them on the website listed at the bottom of the article.

Extra resources: area to rehearse

Time: allow about 30 minutes to complete this task

Curriculum links: English, The Arts — Drama, Personal & Social Capability

VCOP Activity

(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation)

Word Chemistry

This activity is very simple. You need to find two words from the article that are unrelated and create a sentence with them. After you create the first sentence, the second sentence needs to create three unrelated words.

First example:

– quick

– super

I was super excited about tomorrow but knew I would have to be quick to get a good seat.

Second example:

– circuit

– energy

– Australia

A lot of energy was required to complete a fitness circuit around Australia.

Tip: Create a list of words before starting to create your sentences.

Time: allow at least 15 minutes to complete the task

Curriculum Links: English, Big Write, VCOP

Activity provided by Andrell Education


At Kids News we love to see your best grammar, punctuation and vocabulary.

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