A prestigious Border road race will host the nation's most elite cyclists in what has been described as a major coup for the event.
Australia's 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games men's track endurance squad is set to ride in the John Woodman Memorial Cycle Classic next month.
Professional cyclists Leigh Howard, Kelland O'Brien, Lucas Plapp, Alex Porter and Sam Welsford will be accompanied by coach Tim Decker during their visit to tackle the track from Wagga to Jindera on April 11.
"It's terrific for the race having riders of that calibre," race committee member Greg Featonby said.
"It's obviously a great lead up event for them heading into Tokyo."
The endurance squad is embarking on a roadshow around Victoria, NSW and South Australia over April and May, where they will ride some of the most historic regional-based road events, starting with the John Woodman Memorial Cycle Classic.
"It's a great opportunity to give back to some regional races around Australia before the Olympics come around," coach Decker said.
"All the guys are looking forward to it, it should be good preparation leading into our final camp before the Olympics.
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"From my perspective, having our riders in these areas, in these races, is very important because if we inspire one or two cyclists to come out or go on further and keep trying, you might get one or two talented athletes that grab a little bit of inspiration from those that are going to the Olympics.
"I think we under-appreciate the impact that things like this can have on the youth of today, to keep them inspired, and for them to understand that if you train and try hard, there are not too many reasons why you can't reach the top too."
The Olympic squad has recently also taken part in the Road Nationals and Santos Festival of Cycling.
It's not the first time the local classic race has attracted elite riders, with Jay Sweet, Dean Woods and Michael Matthews among some of the big names from years gone by.
"Over the years it's attracted awesome riders," Featonby said,
"This is just another year where we've attracted a great field and we're really looking forward to the event."
This year will mark the first time in 35 years that the race won't finish in Albury, with the track cut by 10 kilometres to see riders cross the line in Jindera.
Traffic barriers and the Lavington Hall being utilised as a COVID-19 testing centre were contributing factors in the changes.
The rescheduled 2021 Tokyo Olympics will start on July 23 and run until August 8.
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