29 August 2013, by Cycling Australia
The 2013 Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic has been officially launched today by the Mayor of Inverell and Chairman of the Sapphire City Festival Clr. Paul Harmon.
Riders will contest the 53rd edition of the historic race on October 26 as the finale to the Subaru National Road Series.
The race begins in the picturesque town of Grafton and winds its way inland, over the famous Gibraltar Range and through the town of Glen Innes, before culminating in the town of Inverell 228 kilometres later.
Race director Scott Sunderland, who was born and raced in Inverell, said the race is held in high esteem amongst Australia's best domestic cyclists.
“These riders will all be chasing the prestigious crown of the toughest one day classic race in Australia," Sunderland said.
Last year’s event was won by Peter Herzig (Budget Forklifts) in a stunning two-man breakaway with teammate Michael Cupitt. The pair stayed away from a roaring peloton for 130 kilometres and finished the race first and second.
Sunderland, former Australian road champion, professional cyclist and team manager, went on to say he believes the Grafton to Inverell lends itself to a strong and brave rider who isn’t afraid to take his chances in a breakaway.
“To go away at the range, you still have a 140km to go and it’s a long way to travel on your own or in a small group, but last year we did see that happen.
“The toughest bit I think is the run in to Glen Innis because there’s a lot of wind. Once they get to Glen Innis it’s back to team tactics – which teams will try to unhitch any sprinters left in the bunch, and which teams will try to protect their fastest men,” Sunderland explained.
For the first time, this year’s Classic will be run without the legendary Jack Griffin.
Mr Griffin passed away earlier this year after involvement in every event, first as a competitor, then as the race promoter, and in later life as a race guest and spectator.
His son Ray told the gathering his father would be ecstatic the race is going from strength to strength, and he would be wearing that famous big grin knowing Cycling NSW has initiated the Jack Griffin Memorial Shield which will be inscribed with the name of every line honours winner and presented each year.