Norris tackles Tasmania's cycling classics 

RACING more than 750km in just seven days is what Barkers Creek cycling star Lachlan Norris will tackle in Tasmania’s road classics.

Norris and his Drapac Porsche team-mates will use tomorrow’s 208km trek from Launceston to New Norfolk as a key build-up to the six-day Tour of Tasmania, which starts on Tuesday.

“I have never raced in either of these events, so it’s going to be a great challenge,” Norris said yesterday.

While he is looking forward to the heat of racing, the same could not be said about the cold snap.

“The weather is going to make what are tough courses even tougher.”

Norris and team-mates Darren Lapthorne, Rhys Pollock, Johnnie and Will Walker, Malcolm Rudolph, Adam Phelan and Floris Goesinnen have put in many hours  preparing for the Tour, which is the fourth and final leg in the Scody Cup series. 

After racing in the series opener in the Tour of Gippsland and next event on the South Coast, Norris chose not to race in the Tour of the Murray.

Whether it’s on the road or in mountain bike racing, climbing is a strength Norris will aim to capitalise on in tomorrow’s race to New Norfolk and the tour.

“There’s a big climb about the halfway mark,” Norris said of the Launceston to New Norfolk race.

“I will be looking to attack on that climb, but there will still be a long way to go.”

Although he has not raced a lot in recent weeks, Norris has put in plenty of time in training.

“I’ve been doing a lot of training with Darren Lapthorne (a national road champion) on the hills at Healesville and Bright.

Recent hit-outs for Norris included the Goulburn to Sydney 180km.

He was sixth in last Sunday’s windswept battle from Eaglehawk to Pyramid Hill.

A monthly winner in the bankmecu-sponsored Bendigo Advertiser-WIN Television Sports Star of the Year award, Norris has racked up hundreds of kilometres in the past year competing in road or mountain bike classics.

He also completed his science degree at Melbourne University.

October shapes as being a hectic month of racing for Norris in Victoria and Western Australia.

The 262km Melbourne to Warrnambool, which is the longest  one-day race in the southern hemisphere, is on October 13.

The 117km Shipwreck Coast Classic is on the next day.

A national champion in MTB racing, Norris has racked up multiple starts at world titles.

A highlight for Kalgoorlie-born Norris will include heading west to contest the four-day Cape to Cape mountain bike classic from October 25 at Margaret River. 

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