Sun. May 26th, 2024

The Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic is returning for the 62nd edition with a new name and look in 2023.

The Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic has confirmed CWP Renewables is continuing as major event partner for 2023, this time as part of the Squadron Energy group. The newly named Squadron Energy Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic will also have a new format, now conducted over two days on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th April. Saturday will feature the Men’s NRS Grafton to Inverell (228km) race, the Women’s NRS Grafton to Mt Mitchell (119km) race, and the Non-NRS Grafton to Inverell (228km) race that will include age category and team classification prizes for both men and women. Sunday will see Inverell host circuit racing for the NRS Men and Women at the Lake Inverell purpose built cycling circuit.

The confirmation is fantastic news for the event as it continues to plan for sustainability into the future according to Event Director, Chris Thompson.

“It’s a great fit to partner with an organisation that is working towards a sustainable future with an emphasis on supporting local communities.”

The third year of the Women’s NRS race will include a challenging course modification for the country’s leading female riders. The 119km journey from Grafton to Mount Mitchell now features the iconic 16km climb of the Gibraltar Range and close to 2500m of climbing over the full course.

“The introduction of a new course for the Women’s NRS will see a different dynamic of racing from previous editions that finished in Inverell,” said Mr Thompson. “The climb of the Gibraltar Range will play a key role in deciding the outcome of the race as the summit is only 32km from the finish.”

“We don’t expect to see a large group of riders sprinting for the finish as it will be more of a race of attrition.”

There are also some changes to the support events. The previous Division 2, Division 3 and Challenge categories are merged into one non-NRS race. The results will focus on overall, age category and team classifications for both men and women.

“We believe the new format is more sustainable for the future and offers new incentives for riders,” said Mr Thompson.

The event activities won’t conclude on Saturday in 2023. The Men’s and Women’s NRS will each have a 45km circuit race on Sunday covering laps of the Lake Inverell purpose-built cycling facility.

“The inclusion of a Sunday program of racing creates an event package that provides greater exposure for the NRS teams and boosts the benefits for Inverell,” said Mr Thompson. “It’s also a great way to capitalise on the opportunity to further increase the profile of cycling in this country town and showcase a great facility”.

Competitors and supporters have the opportunity to engage with the local community and enjoy the best riding experiences in both Grafton and Inverell. Social group rides are planned for Friday in Grafton and Sunday in Inverell.

“We want our visitors and locals to feel part of a large cycling community that extends far beyond regions,” said Mr Thompson.

“Riding a bike together and sharing a coffee and a chat are a great way to connect.”

“There is also no better way to see the best sights of a region than by bike.”

Squadron Energy Executive General Manager Development Ed Mounsey said the continued partnership reflected the ongoing commitment to the region and its community.

“We have an extended history in the community as CWP Renewables and we look forward to continuing our relationships as we rebrand to Squadron Energy,” Mr Mounsey said.

“Renewable energy has an important role to play in regional economic development and it’s critical we support events which in turn support local communities.”

“We’re proud to be continuing our partnership of the Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic.”

Entries for the 2023 Squadron Energy Grafton to Inverell are now open.

Find out more at https://www.graftontoinverell.com.au/

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