Traralgon, Australia - Team Type 1's Matt Wilson and Fabio Calabria will race on their "home turf" for the first time this season when the Jayco Herald Sun Tour begins Sunday in Traralgon, Australia.



Wilson is the race's defending champion, while Calabria is believed to be the first rider with Type 1 diabetes to compete in the event that is now in its 57th year. The two are part of Team Type 1's six-rider squad that will line up for the seven-day, 389-mile (627.5 km) international stage race.

Team Type 1 will start with one less rider than the other 13 teams after Chris Jones was unable to make the trip. Jones has been sick since helping Glen Chadwick win the Vuelta Mexico last month.

While Wilson will wear bib number 1 as the defending champion, Chadwick might ultimately wind up as Team Type 1's leader. That's because Wilson has been slowed by a knee injury that has limited his training.


"I don't know how long I'll be able to go," the 31-year-old said.

Wilson considers his three-second victory last year to be one of the crowning achievements of his eight-year professional career that has seen him compete in the Tour de France and win the 2004 Australian road race championship. He successfully overcame Hodgkin's Disease - a cancer that attacks the lymph glands - that threatened to cut his career short in 2001.

Chadwick himself fought back from a potentially deadly illness - Epstein-Barr virus - to win the Tour of Arkansas, race in the Summer Olympic Games road race for New Zealand and win the Vuelta Mexico. He also earned the King of the Mountains titles at the Tour de Beauce and the Tour of Utah.

This year's Sun Tour be raced predominantly in Gippsland and eastern Victoria. Race organizers say the event - which consists of road races, two criteriums and a time trial on the second-to-last day - was designed to strike the right balance between climbing and time trialing, while still providing the sprinters with opportunities.

Sunday's 27-mile criterium precedes a pair of rolling stages that will likely lead to field sprints. The race then heads to the mountains on Wednesday, but the climbing on the longest stage of the race (85 miles/137 km) is not difficult enough to be decisive. However, Stage 4's 71-mile (115 km) race finishes with a climb to Mt. Buller that is expected to significantly shake up the overall standings.

The following day, the rolling hills of the TarrWarra Estate Winery will be the venue for the 10-mile (16.2 km) individual time trial that will likely decide the final wearer of the race leader's yellow jersey. Saturday's final stage is a 41-mile (66.2 km) criterium.