Cycling: Defending champion Sam Hill among entries for Gunnedah to Tamworth

Canberra cyclist Sam Hill will be chasing back to back Gunnedah to Tamworth’s when he lines up in the 2017 edition on Sunday.

Pedal power: Darren Traill, here taking his turn out in front during a criterium earlier in the year, will be working double time this weekend.

Pedal power: Darren Traill, here taking his turn out in front during a criterium earlier in the year, will be working double time this weekend.

Last year Hill and older brother, and coach, Ben finished one, two after riding away from the peleton in a rain soaked race.

Hills is among over 130 entries received across the six divisions for Sunday’s race, which is being sponsored by Goodyear Autocare, and will follow on from the Keegan Downes Memorial Sundowner Classic (Coonabarabran-Gunnedah) on Saturday. Many of the riders will be competing in both. 

One such is Tamworth’s Darren Traill.

Coming off a 31st finish in the Grafton to Inverell, Traill said his preparation since hasn’t been ideal but is hoping the fitness he’d built up will hold up. Returning after a year away from racing, Traill is familiar with what is in front of him.

“I’ve ridden the race (G2T) probably 10-12 times before. It’s always been one of my favourite races,” he said.

He has entered Division 2 and described the toughest part of the course as coming across the Breeza Plains.

“Usually it’s quite windy. After that you start doing a few hills coming into Werris Creek and Currabubula.”

“That’s where the race usually starts.”

Depending on how he travelling, Traill’s tactic will be to “put them in the gutter” if there is a cross wind, or in simple terms – be aggressive.

“The more aggressive I ride, the better I ride,” Traill said.

Tamworth Cycle Club will have a strong contingent of riders competing in both races,with around 20 entered in Sunday’s scratch race.