The Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic is attracting record numbers for its 49th edition. A total of 272 riders have entered the gruelling road race scheduled for Saturday, September 12, in Australia. Some of the elite men's teams already committed for the 228km event include Fly V Australia, Dixon Homes, Praties, Team Budget Forklifts, HYPE, Mace-McDonagh Blake and Shortis Cycle & Tri.
Cameron Jennings, Peter Herzig and Peter Ladd (all Team Budget Fork lifts) and Tour de Geelong winner Darren Rolfetheir and Bernard Sulzberger, Ben King, Jonathon Cantwell (Fly V) are among those registered. The race also sometimes draws talented off-road racers. World 24-hour solo mountain bike champion Jason English will try his luck on the road this year after cross country star Chris Jongewaard finished second last year.
Whilst the focus may be on the pointy end of the race in the elite division, organisers were thrilled to receive 142 entries in the master categories. The Under 23s will also have strong representation with riders from as far away as New Zealand, Launceston, Hobart, Fremantle and Rockhampton.
As for women's competition, the numbers are also up in the second running of the Celtic Country Classic de Femme with 36 women from across the country competing in this year's 95km event.
Some of Australia's top talent will be on hand for the junior category's race from Glen Innes to Inverell. Ethan Kimmence and Sam Spokes are among those on the start list.
The long-running event was first raced on Saturday, September 16, 1961. David Pell and Davina Summers won the most recent editions of the men's and women's races in 2008.
For more information on the race, visit www.graftontoinverellcycleclassic.com.au.