WHEN: 8th October 2012 to 15th November 2012
THE man who has played a vital role in the revival of road cycling in the country is adamant the Tour of Tasmania is a "smouldering volcano" ready to again become part of the international scene.
And the organisation taking over the reins of the tour has confirmed returning to a global field could be on the cards down the track.
From next year Cycling Australia will take control of six national series events currently run by John Craven and his company Caribou Publications, with the Tour of Tasmania arguably the jewel in the crown.
The 2012 event finished on Sunday, with the five-day, 556km trek across nine stages considered the most brutal yet stunning tour to date.
Tasmania's picturesque tour was resurrected in 2005 and with an honour roll containing Richie Porte, Nathan Haas and Cameron Meyer, Craven has no doubt he is handing over a product which is ready made to go up a gear.
"I would like to see Cycling Australia take the event to an international level on the ICU [International Cycling Union] calendar," Craven said.
"The Tour of Tasmania now is a smouldering volcano, it's ready to become the biggest bike race in Australia, bar none. The Tasmanian Government could turn the tour into an international event tomorrow if it wished. The hard work has been done, the concrete base has been set."
Cycling Australia chief executive Graham Fredericks told the Mercury the governing body does have grand plans for Tasmania's premier cycling event - but won't be rushing to change the successful formula.
Fredericks said it was also important to uphold what Craven has built in the past eight years.
"Ensuring the legacy of Caribou and John Craven, that is paramount. John declared a couple of years ago he is not going to be doing this forever and we thought we had better work out a way to make sure his legacy stands," Fredericks said. "He has single-handedly done as much for road cycling in Australia at domestic level as anyone you can identify.
"Yes, we have a major event strategy. Yes we do feel a responsibility to maintain John's legacy.
"The Tour of Tasmania is a critical event there, it is certainly one of the better ones in his stable in terms of a real, hard, challenging road tour event. It's always been considered as probably the best terrain in Australia for a cycling tour by many a buff.
"Therefore, and thinking where it was and where the tour used to be on the international calendar, it is something we will definitely consider in the future.
"We just need to take a deep breath and take over from John and get all our ducks lined up first."