Richie Porte may have been denied the chance to defend his Tour Down Under title but he still headlines a host of Tasmanians taking part in the race's replacement.
Australia's premier World Tour event, which has been cancelled due to COVID-19, will be replaced with a four-stage National Road Series race for men and women.
Running from Thursday to Sunday, it will weave its way through iconic South Australian regions including The Barossa, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula and include the traditional hilltop finish up Willunga Hill which has been owned by Porte with six wins and a second place in his last seven attempts.
In his first competitive run since rejoining INEOS Grenadiers from Trek-Segafredo, Porte will lead a gun Garmin Australia outfit also featuring Jimmy Whelan, Kelland O'Brien, Leigh Howard, Luke Plapp, Alex Porter and Sam Welsford.
Monaco-based Porte, who turns 36 on January 30, has brought his young family back to Launceston for the southern summer and has been churning out daily rides around his favourite Lilydale-Scottsdale circuit with many of Tasmania's other leading cyclists.
Many will line up against him in South Australia.
Regular training partner Josh Wilson will join Jacob Langham and Tasmanian criterium champion Kaine Cannan for Velofit Australia Racing while Zac Johnson (InForm TM Insight) and Zack Gilmore (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) are also in the peloton with Aus Cycling podium potential academy member Josh Duffy representing a World Tour composite team.
A glut of Tasmanians can also be found among the women's field with Rio Olympian Georgia Baker joining regular national track teammates Annette Edmondson, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Maeve Plouffe plus reigning NRS champion Sarah Gigante representing Team Garmin Australia.
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Duffy's fellow PPA member Lauren Perry is joining Anya Louw representing ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast while Nicole Frain and Catelyn Turner will be guest riders for the South Australian Sports Institute, state mountain bike champion Izzy Flint will ride with Australia's only UCI Women's Continental Team Roxsolt Liv SRAM and Amalia Langham with StepFWD IT Suzuki.
Among other events planned for the festival of cycling will be a public time trial up Willunga Hill in which cycling enthusiasts can challenge themselves against Porte's record time of 6:39.