MORE THAN 350 riders entered Saturday’s Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic. Less than half finished!
Organisers said 45 finished the A grade division, just 35 finished in B grade and 80 C graders crossed the finish line after 228 gruelling kilometres.
While it was rated another major success by organisers, it was also a great day for the Wilks boys – Paul and Dan.
They finished first and second in the B grade, Paul slipping away from a five-man group that also included his older brother, Dan, approaching Inverell.
Paul was able to sprint into Otho Street and cross for a second B grade won.
“I also won it in 2010,” the 32-year-old rider said.
Paul grew up in Inverell and lived there until four years ago.
Now based at Mudgee, he still rides with that club.
“I love it,” he said of race riding.
And 2013’s second B Grade title?
“It was very different to 2010,” he said.
“There were some big breakways this year, right from the hill (Gibraltar range).
“It was a lot tougher this year.
“But I couldn’t have won it but for my brother, Dan.
“He did heaps of work. Without him I wouldn’t have won it again.”
So it was with great delight that Paul, after riding away from his final group of riders in the final few kilometres of the race, watched as his brother, Dan, 38, won the sprint for second place, edging out Stephen Fairless (winner of the 1991 Grafton to Inverell).
The Wilks boys celebrated their success at the race presentation night in the Holy Trinity School hall on Saturday night.
More than 400 people attended that dinner to celebrate another fantastic race.