Battling freezing winds and over 3000 metres of climbing, the 58th Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic proved a challenge for divisions two and three.
Dane Murray from the Gold Coast rolled in first with a time of seven hours, six minutes and 26 seconds, closely followed by Ben Neppl from the Dhuez Racing in second place and Tim Hoy from the Gold Coast in third.
Hoy, who came second last year, and has reached the podium several times, was a favourite for the top spot.
Inverell’s top B Grade rider was Zak Sunderland, who came in 26th place, 19 minutes and 59 seconds behind Murray. Sunderland had been training consistently, with around 15 hours on the bike each week for the past six months.
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Alwyn Miller crossed the line 14 minutes later in 35th place, with Jason Sprang finishing in 44th place. It was a large group of riders, with 102 taking part in division two.
The peloton stuck together closely early in the race, conserving energy for the cold climbs ahead. David Evans from Manly Warringah took home the King of the Mountain jersey with 12 points, and was also named the Most Attacking Rider. Meanwhile Harlequin’s Cameron Judson won the title of Sprint King.
Adrian Land from Fraser Coast Cycling came out on top in division three, with a time of seven hours, 52 minutes and 21 seconds. Local Peter Lane came in 27 minutes, 47 seconds later, in 39th place. Jessica Pratt won the Inverell des Femmes.