DAN Wilks and Sam Horwood have charted new courses for Inverell cyclists after they rode last weekend’s oldest and longest one day cycle race – the Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic.
Inverell Cycle N Tri Club publicity officer, Peter Sunderland, said the two builders made the long trek south last weekend worthwhile when Wilks finished third in the B grade section.
“Dan and Sam rode in the B grade section of the Melbourne to Warnambool on Saturday,” Sunderland said.
“This is the first time a cyclist from Inverell has competed in the 257km race. Wilks collected a fantastic third place after losing contact with the leading
B grade riders after an unscheduled stop.
“Horwood also finished with an impressive 10th place behind Wilks. Both riders have been clocking up plenty of training preparing for the Grafton to Inverell and took the chance to make the trip south to take advantage of their strong form.”
238 riders (all grades) started together from Melbourne on Saturday.
“Dan and Sam will now switch their attention to the 228km Grafton to Inverell to be held on October 26,” Sunderland said.
“They will again line up in the B grade section and will have plenty of confidence after Saturday’s great results.”
Wilks is in his late 30s, a local builder, who employs Horwood as well as Simon Donnelly and Sunderland’s son, Zack, as an apprentice.
“It’s a real cycling business,” Sunderland joked.
“Dan’s riding the B Grade again, He’s finished second twice already and to crack it. That’s his goal.
“His brother Paul, won the B grade in 2010 and he’s coming back to help him out to.”
Peter Sunderland also won a B grade Grafton to Inverell title “way back in 1995”.
“Last century,” he joked.
He said numbers for the 2013 version are building.
“We had 220 but there are still quite a few NRS teams to enter yet.
“We’re hoping for 250 plus.
“But everything is looking good for it again.”
o Malaysian road cyclist Loh Sea Keong is a confirmed Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic starter.
The 26-year-old is currently coached by former Australian Olympian Graham Seers and has an impressive record in an 8-year international career.
Loh Sea Kong has won stages and recorded top 10 finishes in tours in Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, and this year took out the General Classification of a Malaysian event as a part of the Singapore Continental Cycling Team.
“I believe it is the first time a Malaysian cyclist has competed in Australia’s toughest one day road race,” Peter Sunderland said of Keong who has an advantage with Seers as his coach.”