Two of the region's cycling stars are gearing up to compete against some of the biggest names in the sport.
Inverell's Dylan Sunderland and Armidale's Sam Jenner will line up alongside the likes of German sprint veteran André Grepiel, multiple Tour de France stage winner Romain Bardet, two-times winner Daryl Impey and Australian champion Richie Porte in this week's Tour Down Under, which gets underway in South Australia on Tuesday.
Jenner will ride for the UniSA-Australia team while Sunderland will make his debut with his new ICU World Tour team, the South African-based Team NTT.
It will be the 23-year old's second time competing in Australia's premier cycling race,
Last year Sunderland was part of the UniSA team, and in what was then his first World Tour event, finished 30th overall (of 129) and 12th in the young rider classification.
Speaking before Sunday's Schwalbe Classic Sunderland said he was excited for his first hit-out in NTT colours.
"It's always nice to get into a new team, especially NTT," he said.
"I'm really excited for my first race and can't wait to start."
Jenner likewise is looking forward to the week.
He will be joined in the seven-man UniSA team by Team BridgeLane team-mates Nicholas White and Tyler Lindorff. 2019 National Road Series champion Jarrad Drizners (Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team) and Australian Cycling team's world champions and world record holders Samuel Welsford, Kelland O'Brien and Cameron Scott will add depth to the squad.
Jenner and Sunderland are both coming off a pretty good performance in the road race at the recent National Road Championships, crossing the line in 23rd and 24th respectively, 7:32 minutes behind winner Cameron Meyer.
In what was a gruelling race, 76 of the 111 starters ended up abandoning the race.
The first event of the 2020 UCI WorldTour, Tuesday's opening stage of the Tour Down Under will start and finish in Tanunda, and see riders complete a 30km course connecting Bethany, Angaston, Penrice and Nuriootpa five times.