Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic organisers are gearing up for what is shaping up to be the biggest edition of the iconic race.
This year's event has been extended to two days and will also feature a criterium.
The Lake Inverell Cycling Grand Prix criterium will be held on the Sunday following the main race and utilise the new purpose built off-road criterium circuit.
Completed late last year the facility is one of the only of it's kind outside of the city, and was one of the reasons for the addition of a criterium.
"The event offers an ideal opportunity to A showcase that facility to the nation and B enhance the Grafton to Inverell program by offering an event after the main race," event director Chris Thompson said.
He said there had been a bit of demand to have something on the Sunday morning.
"There'e been a call from a lot of the supporters that help feed the riders. They were looking for an event to compete in," he said.
Since making the announcement Thompson said they had received a lot of positive feedback.
"We're hoping it translates it into people entering the event," he said.
"We've got the entries open now. If we can get over 100 riders in the first year that would be good."
In another exciting development for the event, the women's main race will form part of a bolstered National Road Series roster. Already an NRS race for the men, the NRS status will be a drawcard to attract the best female riders and teams in the country.
Thompson said it has been really driven by the teams.
"This came off the back of their (NRS teams) push to have a NRS race as part of the Grafton to Inverell," he said.
"It will be unique. We've never had an NRS race as long as the Grafton to Inverell. They'll be racing 228km."
They did look at shorter options but that wasn't really viable.
This year's event will take place on May 9 and 10.