Photo gallery: Highlights from the 2017 Jayco Herald Sun Tour

by Matt de Neef


When the Jayco Herald Sun Tour came to a close in Kinglake yesterday, so too did the Australian summer of racing. It seems like forever ago that the season got underway at the Bay Crits in Geelong, but in reality it’s been just five weeks. But it’s been a busy five weeks.

After three days of the Bay Crits it was straight into the Australian Road Nationals. The Santos Tour Down Under and Santos Women’s Tour followed, before Race Melbourne, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and then, finally, the Sun Tour. It’s a busy time of year for the Aussie cycling scene and only likely to get busier in the years to come.

The Sun Tour was billed as a showdown between two teams and two riders: Sky, with defending champion Chris Froome, and Orica-Scott, with Esteban Chaves. The battle between the race’s two WorldTour teams eventuated, but the Froome and Chaves battle didn’t.

Danny van Poppel (Sky) won the prologue on Melbourne’s Southbank to take the first yellow jersey of the race. On the race’s much anticipated queen stage, to the ski resort of Falls Creek, Damien Howson (Orica-Scott) left Kenny Elissonde (Sky) and the rest of the field behind to move into yellow. He wouldn’t relinquish it for the rest of the race.

Luke Rowe (Sky) won stage 2 as Howson and his team fought back from an untimely puncture. Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare) won a crash-affected third stage from a small-group sprint, and Ian Stannard (Sky) rode away from the break to the final stage in Kinglake.

In all, Sky left the race with three stage wins and the teams classification. In the end though, the 2017 Sun Tour belonged to Damien Howson, a rider who spends so much of his time riding for others. And in promising signs for the future of Australian cycling, 20-year-old Jai Hindley (Korda Mentha-Australia) was second overall after finishing in the same position on stage 1.

In all, a terrific five days of racing and a fitting end to the Australian summer of racing.

Race recaps

Prologue
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4

Photo gallery