Olympics hopeful Sam Welsford is part of the top line-up of talented and title-hungry cyclists set to pedal for a total prize pool of $40,000 in this year’s Minara Resources Goldfields Cyclassic.
Proudly billing itself as Australia’s richest handicap cycle race, the 2016 Cyclassic has a top quality field, with some of Australia’s top teams and riders competing, including Satalyst Verve’s Henry Pennell who won line honours in the 2015 Menzies Classic.
Also racing again this year is 2014 Cyclassic winner Rebecca Mackey of Arbitrage Racing’s Wormall Civil CCS team.
Teams competing in the two-stage Cyclassic include OTOC Vault, JML Racing, Satalyst Verve, Eddy Holland’s Bicycle Services, Dome Coffees, Arbitrage Masters, Wormall Civil and OTOC Niche Living Vault.
Among male riders to watch are Welsford, Pennell, Luke Ledger, Conor Sherwin, Jackson Mawby, Darcy Pirotta and Craig Wiggins. Meanwhile, women riders Jen Davis, Stefanie Van Amerongen, Sabine Bird and Briee Rogers will be pitting their pedal power against Mackey.
Cyclassic race director Wayne Douglass said late registrations were still being taken for the 2016 event.
“We are looking forward to one of the best line-ups of competitors this historic event has ever seen,” Mr Douglass said.
“Since 1928, cyclists have been racing on this route linking towns and mines in Australia’s greatest gold-producing region. I am confident that this year’s talented riders will do this iconic event proud, showcasing some of WA’s richest country during Australia’s richest cycle race.”
The Minara Resources Goldfields Cyclassic comprises two stages – the Menzies Classic and Leonora Golden Wheels – and annually draws elite cyclists from throughout Australia, including a dedicated group of hand cyclists. A parallel event, the Community Challenge, encourages local cyclists to take part for fun and fitness.
The 2016 race runs from Kalgoorlie-Boulder to Menzies on Saturday June 4 and ends in Leonora on Sunday June 5 to coincide with the finish of the Leonora Golden Gift foot race.
Now in its 88th year, the Menzies Classic, also known as the Chas Egan Memorial Race, has seen generations of cyclists pedal the 132km route north from WA’s famous Golden Mile to the former mining centre of Menzies. Today the Shire of Menzies Cycle Carnival is the biggest event on the small town’s calendar, with locals and visitors lining the main street to cheer the winners across the line. A sprint competition, community races and children’s events round out the carnival.
On Sunday morning the teams leave Menzies on the second leg of the Minara Resources Goldfields Cyclassic, the five-year-old Leonora Golden Wheels race over 105km.
OTOC Vault team manager Brad Hall is looking forward to a hefty field of competitors in what is set to be one of WA cycling’s biggest races for 2016.
“There haven’t been many competitions this year and, beyond the State title, this is one of the major events for cyclists,” Mr Hall said.
“This year we’re going to see a very young crop of riders across the two days. This is exciting because we’re giving way to the next generation of cyclists. It’s going to be better than ever.”
To lodge a late registration for the Minara Resources Goldfields Cyclassic, visithttp://www.cyclassic.com.au