A BOOST in winter visitor numbers to the Moyne Shire is being predicted for the Moyne Shire along with the arrival of some elite pedal power.
The Tour of the Great South Coast will wind its way through the shire, the townships ofwith Port Fairy, Hawkesdale and Koroit hosting stages of the ride.
This is the staging of the inaugural tour, with 150 riders from around the country expected to take part in the 578-kilometre, five day event from August 15 to 19. Moyne Shire councillor Bernie Harris said it would be a timely addition to the tourism calender. "Cycling is huge at the moment so I can't see how this won't be a very successful event and bring in a lot of people to the Moyne Shire.
"And the great thing is, it is in winter when usually there is not a lot happening to draw people in. So it's a real bonus as far as getting visitors goes."
With organisers, support stamembers addedff athe number ofnd team crews adding to rider numbers, it icoming with the rides expected the entourage will exceed 400 people.
The tour is also expected to attract plenty of media attention, with SBS committedfrom the race to featuring tour highlights on its Cycling Central program.
The tour is part of Cycling Australia's Subaru National Road Series as welland is backed by Tourism Victoria, Cycling Victoria and Cycling Australia.
The tour will start in Portland on Wednesday, August 15, and the Port Fairy stage will be held on Friday.
This stage will involve a criterium between 11am and noon where riders will complete 16 laps of a 2.5-kilometre course startiing in James Street and heading to the passage .
In the afternoon the riders will ride to Hawkesdale via Toolong, Kirkstall and Woolsthorpe, with riders expected in Hawkesdale around 3pm.
The Koroit criterium will be held the next day on a 1.3-kilometre circuit which will include the town's main street, Woolsthorpe Rothis 1.3-kilometread and Station Street. Riders will complete 30 laps of the course by nooin the afternoonn before heading off for the next stage in Peterborough .
Roads through the towns hosting the criterium rides will be blocked off to traffic.
Moyne Shire Councillor Mick Wolfe said the council had committed $15,000 to the event.
"This is a big event which will be very professionally run, and will not be a drain on the council's resources," Cr Wolfe said.
"The organisers know what we expect as far as safety, so we are very confident they will ensure the whole thing runs smoothly.
"This is a great chance to promote our shire. The tour will bring in a lot of people to watch and hopefully they can stay around and the towns involved can really benefit."