AUTUMN CLASSIC SET TO BE ONE OF THE BEST!
This Saturday’s Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic is shaping up to be one of the best races in recent times.
The 56th running of Australia’s toughest one day race will see just under 270 cyclist tackle the 228km journey along the Gwydir Highway.
The McDonalds A Grade race which is the first round of the 2016 Subaru National Road series will see 108 of Australia’s best domestic based cyclist battle to add their name to the prestigious honour roll and a place on the Jack Griffin Shield. Two time winner Sean Lake and his Avanti Isowhey team will be looking to make it a hat trick of wins for the Victorian rider.
They will have plenty of competition though, with the 2nd ranked team from 2015 State of Matter MAAP racing fielding a strong team led by local rider Dylan Sunderland and Queenslander Ryan Cavanagh.
Current New Zealand Road champion Jason Christie and recent winner of the Mt Baw Baw classic Rhys Gillett also look set to make a mark on the race.
The change of season for the classic has seen one of the strongest ever fields entered for the Fencing North West B grade race. Boasting several past grade winners and placegetters as well as former A grade riders in the 70 strong field, this looks set to be a fantastic race.
Local rider Brendan Jones who placed 4th in A grade in 2010 is back on the bike and will certainly be one to watch along with Mudgee rider Paul Wilks who has twice won this race in the past.
The Inverell RSM C grade also has a great field 89 riders on the start list including 10 female competitors. Organisers are reluctant to install a favourite for this grade as it looks to be wide open for several riders to make their mark.
A favourable forecast of a 26 degree day with light winds should produce some fast and aggressive racing with the race record a very realistic chance of falling.
The race will start at 7:30am with riders expected into Inverell around 1:30pm.
STRONG FIELD ENTERED FOR 2016 GRAFTON TO INVERELL
With just over two weeks until the running of the 56th Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic, 230 nominations have been received. Organisers are very happy with the numbers which are well up on last year and are expecting more before entries close this Sunday April 24.…
Over 100 riders will line up in the McDonalds A grade field which is the first round of the Subaru National Road Series for 2016. Twelve teams have entered with several more lodging their intention to be on the start line.
Committee member Peter Sunderland Said, “this is one of the strongest NRS fields we have had in recent years. The winner of the last two editions of the 228km Classic, Sean Lake will wear the number 1 this year.”
“Lake is the first rider to win back to back titles here and will have the full support of his Avanti IsoWhey Sports team when he attempts to make it a hat trick on May 7.”
Lake will be well marked by the likes of the State of Matter MAAP, Mobius Future Racing and Subaru NSWIS teams who will be wanting to have a strong start to the 2016 NRS.
Over 130 riders will line up in the Fencing North West B Grade and the Inverell RSM C Grade. With local clubs Inverell and Grafton well represented in both grades.The race starts in Grafton at 7:30am on Saturday May 7 and the first riders are expected to finish in Inverell around 1:30-1:45pm.
CHANGE OF SEASON FOR GRAFTON TO INVERELL
The 2016 Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic will move to an autumn date for the first time in the race history.
The 56th staging of the classic will be held on Saturday May 7th 2016. The race will again be a part of the Cycling Australia National Road Series and will be the second round after being the final round for many seasons.
The organising committee have made the decision to move the event after consulting with many of the current NRS teams and also lower grade riders. The date change has also worked in well with the overall NRS calendar and situates the Classic close to
the Tour of Toowoomba and the Battle on the Border on the NRS schedule.
Organising committee member Peter Sunderland said, “We feel the move is positive step for the race. We spoke to several teams and also lower grade competitors and the general response was in favour of the change. To align with the other two NRS events in the northern states is something we feel will benefit all three events going forward.”