A record 185 entries have been received for this year's Eastmon Digital Photo Stores Grafton to Inverell. Entries closed yesterday with Cycling NSW officials advising race organisers of the official entry number, expecting there could still be some late entries before the September 17 race day.
Notable riders include Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist and three-time world champion Peter Dawson. The 23 year-old West Australian is a member of Australia's all-conquering teams pursuit squad, with 2005 marking Dawson's second start in the Grafton to Inverell. Former winner Ben Brooks will return from the USA to ride; Brooks has been a regular competitor in the race and will be looking to emulate his winning ride from 1998.
Italian based professionals Trent Wilson and Russell Van Hout, who ride for pro team Colombia Selle Italia, will also line up in the A Grade. Wilson put in a gallant solo effort last year to chase the early leaders, eventually running fourth, and has indicated to organisers that he is keen to improve on his placing from last year. South Australian Van Hout has been in good form and has been riding strongly in the Sunraysia Tour in Victoria since returning from Europe. Sydney rider Klayten Smith has also been in good form dominating races in NSW over the past few months, with Cycling NSW officials rating him as rider to watch.
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