BENDIGO cycling star Glenn O'Shea will lead the KordaMentha-Team Australia team in next week's Herald-Sun Tour.
Cycling Australia announced on Tuesday that an elite national team would take part in the feature event.
O'Shea, an Olympic silver medalist and world track champion, will be partnered by Patrick Shaw, Matthew Clark, Robert Jon-McCarthy, Chris Jory and Thomas Hamilton.
While O'Shea will be keen to win stage two which concludes in Bendigo on February 7, team director Dave Sanders said O'Shea will be perfectly placed to push for victory in the 2.5km prologue around Melbourne's CBD on February 5.
“We would be looking at targeting the prologue with a guy like Glenn O’Shea who’s the reigning one kilometer time trial national champion,'' Sanders said.
“Pat (Shaw) is probably the most experienced rider on the Australian circuit at the moment, the first two stages are run around his hometown of Ballarat and he has a wealth of knowledge of these circuits.
“We know these roads and it’s an advantage, more than an advantage, it’s gold.
“The team is made up of mostly young guys who are stepping up but we have some more experienced members who we expect to be up high in the rankings.
“It’s Australia’s most historic race and we’re really pleased to have a presence of Australian’s in what is now an international race.”
The prologue's spectacular start to the tour will be followed by stage one from Geelong to Ballarat.
Stage two starts in Ballarat and winds through Daylesford, Hepburn Springs, Chewton, Fryerstown and Castlemaine.
The climb up Mount Alexander will test the field before heading to Bendigo via North Harcourt Road, Emu Creek Road and Strathfieldsaye Road.
Stage three starts at Mitchelton Winery and concludes in Nagambie, while the tour finishes with three climbs of the testing Arthurs Seat climb on the Mornington Peninsula.