Herzig and Cupitt make it 1-2 for Budget Forklifts at Grafton to Inverell

Budget Forklifts put on a dominant display at the final National Road Series race of the year by taking the top two spots at Grafton to Inverell. Peter Herzig won the 228km race ahead of teammate Michael Cupitt after the duo had been on the attack for most of the day. The Budget Forklifts riders broke away from the 15-man escape group once the race hit the grueling Gibralter Range and once the two had reached the top, the peloton never saw them again.

It didn't take long for the day's breakaway to establish itself at this year's Grafton to Inverell. Those looking to give themselves a head-start on the 17km Gibralter climb were prompt in initiating the day's move. After 30km and at the top of the first KOM at Cattle Creek approximately 15 riders clipped off the front.

Kristian Juel (Erdinger Alkoholfrei - Downer EDi Mining) took maximum points on the day's first climb, followed by Peter Herzig (Budget Forklifts) and Henry Morley (Plan B Racing).

With most of the big teams represented, the group was given plenty of time over the peloton. Genesys Wealth Advisers, Budget Forklifts, GPM-Wilson Racing, Plan B Racing, Team Down Under and Erdinger Alkoholfrei were all present in the move and with no Drapac team at the final NRS race of the year, the gap quickly grew heading towards the first sprint outside the Mann River Caravan Park.

Sam Rutherford (GPM-Wilson Racing) knows this race well, having finished 3rd in 2010 after being in the early breakaway that remained off the front for almost the entire day. Rutherford won the first sprint in Mann River, with Jack Anderson and teammate Nick Woods (Team Down Under) taking the remaining points.

Rutherford's GPM-Wilson Racing team entered the race with plenty of options; Chris Jory was a pre-race favourites while Caleb Jones was also active in last year's breakaway.

With the Gibralter Range almost upon the breakaway group, a few riders began to drop off the back while the gap was sitting around eight minutes at the base of the 17km ascent that climbs over 1,000m in elevation.

It didn't take long for last year's U23 national road champion Ben Dyball (Genesys Wealth Advisers) to increase the pace once he heard the time gap was coming down. Dyball's climbing ability was on show and riders quickly began to get dropped from the leading group, leaving 10 riders off the front at the 82km point.

It was Herzig and Cupitt (Budget Forklifts) however, who were the real aggressors and promptly attacked from the lead group and set off to establish a gap over the break and chasing peloton – that had been reduced to around 20 riders.

With the NRS title still on the line, Budget Forklifts were clearly intent on making the race difficult for the Genesys team who needed Anthony Giacoppo to finish inside the top-five in order for him to take the overall NRS title from Luke Davison. Davison could not attend the race due to national team track commitments however Budget Forklifts team director Cameron Watt had already told Cyclingnews the title was "an added bonus" prior race.

Meanwhile the shrunken peloton were slowly closing in on the breakaway at the 120km mark with the lead of the two Budget Forklifts riders extending to over four minutes.

The peloton finally caught up with the 10-odd man breakaway while Herzig and Cupitt were over five minutes ahead with 100km to go. Genesys and GPM-Wilson Racing took control of setting the tempo in pursuit of the Budget leading duo.

GPM-Wilson Racing had five riders in the chasing bunch and showed their intentions by placing Alex Wong and Ed White on the front of the along with a few Genesys riders. Herzig and Cupitt were putting everything into their move and extended their lead to seven minutes with just under 80km to go. With plenty of difficult terrain still to overcome, the bunch would still need to work hard to bring these two back.

The work at the front of the chasing peloton meant the gap steadily decreased and it had dropped below six minutes after 155km. By the time the bunch rolled through the feed zone at Glenn Innes the leading two were slowly coming back. The gap was down to a little over five minutes.

With the gap steadily being reduced it appeared the final climbs at Wire Gully and Gibsons Hill would, like last year, prove to be the decisive moments in the race. Herzig and Cupitt were still pushing along and with less than 20km remaining their lead was under two minutes.

Even with the tough final push up Gibsons Hill, Herzig and Cupitt managed to retain their lead on the fast descent into Inverell. The bunch had the Budget Forklifts duo in sight coming toward the line but the catch was too late. Herzig took the victory with Cupitt in second Drapac's Malcolm Rudolph, riding for the Aussie Hotel Inverell team, won the sprint for third.


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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peter Herzig (Team Budget Forklifts)6:13:39
2Michael Cupitt (Team Budget Forklifts)Row 1 - Cell 2
3Malcolm Rudolph (Aussie Hotel Inverell)0:00:29
4Michael Troy (Aussie Hotel Inverell)Row 3 - Cell 2
5Chris Jory (GPM Wilson Racing)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Sam Rutherford (GPM Wilson Racing)Row 5 - Cell 2
7Blair Windsor (Team Budget Forklifts)Row 6 - Cell 2
8Caleb Jones (GPM Wilson Racing)Row 7 - Cell 2
9Stuart Mulhern (Team Down Under)Row 8 - Cell 2
10Jason Spencer (Team Budget Forklifts)Row 9 - Cell 2
11Nathan Elliott (Brunswick CC)Row 10 - Cell 2
12Samuel Wood (Data#3 CISCO)Row 11 - Cell 2
13Nathan Earle (Genesys Wealth Advisers)Row 12 - Cell 2
14Saxon Irvine (Erdinger Alkoholfrei - Downer)Row 13 - Cell 2
15Correy Edmed (Pensar Hawk Racing)Row 14 - Cell 2
16Kristian Juel (Erdinger Alkoholfrei - Downer)Row 15 - Cell 2
17Mark O'Brien (Team Budget Forklifts)Row 16 - Cell 2
18Peter Smith (Plan B Racing Team)Row 17 - Cell 2
19Daniel Wilson (Hamilton Pine RW)Row 18 - Cell 2
20David Melville (Data#3 CISCO)Row 19 - Cell 2
21Daniel Pinczewski (SUVelo Racing)Row 20 - Cell 2
22Ben Dyball (Genesys Wealth Advisers)Row 21 - Cell 2
23James Szollosi (Erdinger Alkoholfrei - Downer)Row 22 - Cell 2
24Mathew Marshall (Team Down Under)Row 23 - Cell 2
25Nicholas Woods (Team Down Under)0:01:50
26Chris Beeck (Plan B Racing Team)0:02:49
27Shaun McCarthy (Team Budget Forklifts)0:04:34
28Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys Wealth Advisers)0:07:37
29Samuel Davies (Genesys Wealth Advisers)0:08:37
30Jack Anderson (Team Down Under)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Jonathon Lovelock (Genesys Wealth Advisers)0:15:40
32Alex Wong (GPM Wilson Racing)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Edward White (GPM Wilson Racing)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Campbell Flakemore (Genesys Wealth Advisers)0:18:04
35James Swadling (Northern Sydney CC)0:20:10
36Brenton Jones (Genesys Wealth Advisers)0:20:23
37Henry Morley (Plan B Racing Team)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Anthony Kellen (Ffast CC)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Sam Stow (Pensar Hawk Racing)Row 38 - Cell 2
40Oliver Dharma-Ratne (Manly Warringah CC)Row 39 - Cell 2
41Jacob Kauffmann (Manly Warringah CC)Row 40 - Cell 2
42Thomas Patton (Parramatta Racing Team)Row 41 - Cell 2
43Hadleigh Milligan (Pensar Hawk Racing)Row 42 - Cell 2
44Damien Wright (Lifecycle CC)Row 43 - Cell 2
45Ben Jesberg (Ipswich CC)Row 44 - Cell 2
46Samuel Layzell (Kooragang Open CC)Row 45 - Cell 2
47Bradeley Hall (Plan B Racing Team)Row 46 - Cell 2
48Antony Dimitrovski (Parramatta Racing Team)Row 47 - Cell 2
49Brendan Jones (Aussie Hotel Inverell)Row 48 - Cell 2
50Etienne Blumstein-Jones (Canberra CC)0:20:30
51Wesley Hurrell (Parramatta Racing Team)Row 50 - Cell 2
52Tomas Szollosi (Pensar Hawk Racing)0:38:14
53Joshua Apolony (Pensar Hawk Racing)Row 52 - Cell 2
54James Stretch (Aussie Hotel Inverell)0:38:17
55Brad Hannaford (SUVelo Racing)0:45:16
56Nathan Bonavius (SUVelo Racing)0:45:21
57Tamas Allanby (SUVelo Racing)0:45:32
58Ronald Visser (SUVelo Racing)Row 57 - Cell 2
59Tom Petty (SUVelo Racing)0:46:17
60Ben Cutajar (Team Down Under)0:46:54
61Brad Eastwood (Northern Sydney CC)Row 60 - Cell 2
DNFJames Ibrahim (Plan B Racing Team)Row 61 - Cell 2
DNFMark Jamieson (Aussie Hotel Inverell)Row 62 - Cell 2
DNFJake Magee (GPM Wilson Racing)Row 63 - Cell 2
DNFScott Law (GPM Wilson Racing)Row 64 - Cell 2
DNFGeoff Straub (Team Down Under)Row 65 - Cell 2
DNFDouglas Freeburn (Team Down Under)Row 66 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Wohler (Team Down Under)Row 67 - Cell 2
DNFJayden Copp (Team Down Under)Row 68 - Cell 2
DNFTrent Carman (Erdinger Alkoholfrei - Downer)Row 69 - Cell 2
DNFPatrick Shaw (Genesys Wealth Advisers)Row 70 - Cell 2
DNFLuke Ockerby (Team Budget Forklifts)Row 71 - Cell 2
DNFJesse Ewart (Kooragang Open CC)Row 72 - Cell 2
DNFAidan Mckenzie (Uni CC)Row 73 - Cell 2
DNFMatthew Werrell (GC CATS CC)Row 74 - Cell 2
DNFHayden Kegg (Parramatta Racing Team)Row 75 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Brown (Data#3 CISCO)Row 76 - Cell 2
DNFCallum O'Sullivan (Data#3 CISCO)Row 77 - Cell 2
DNFSamuel Volkers (Data#3 CISCO)Row 78 - Cell 2
DNFTodd Greenland (Parramatta Racing Team)Row 79 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel O'Keefe (Parramatta Racing Team)Row 80 - Cell 2
DNFNicholas D'Ambrosio (Parramatta Racing Team)Row 81 - Cell 2
DNFSimon Hammond (Parramatta Racing Team)Row 82 - Cell 2
DNSAlexander Symth (Plan B Racing Team)Row 83 - Cell 2
DNSJoshua Taylor (GPM Wilson Racing)Row 84 - Cell 2
DNSCorrey Edmed (Balmoral CC)Row 85 - Cell 2
DNSJamie Lacey (Toowoomba CC)Row 86 - Cell 2
DNSRyan Obst (Norwood CC)Row 87 - Cell 2
DNSDuncan Houston (Caravello CCRow 88 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Team classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Budget Forklift18:41:26
2GPM Wilson Racing0:00:58
3Erdinger Alkoholfrei - Downer EDi MiningRow 2 - Cell 2
4Team Down Under0:02:19
5Genesys Wealth Advisers0:08:06
6Aussie Hotel Inverell0:20:52
7Plan B Racing Team0:23:12
8Pensar Hawk Racing0:40:46
9Parramatta Racing Team1:00:47
10SUVelo Racing1:30:37

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