Like the smooth changing gears of our SRAM eTap group sets, 2018 has felt like a seamless transition of races; from Australia to New Zealand to the USA and back again. Now we are ready to open the 2018 Australian National Road Series (NRS) with a win.
One-day races are traditionally fiercely competitive, and with many strong and hungry riders lining up in Grafton, Saturday’s race will be no different. This year’s physical battle will take the peloton along a brutal 228km course, featuring 3400m of climbing, and while the course profile falsely draws attention to Gibraltar, the race has many hidden obstacles along the way.
One-day races also often showcase the maturity of a team, the ability to adapt on the road and how to find a result from changing circumstances or mishaps along the way. The mobius BridgeLane team has been learning a lot through the years and are starting to turn promise into more results.
The team selected for the 58th Grafton to Inverell features a mixture of experience, climbing talents, strong time trialists and sprinting ability.
As Team Manager, Tom Petty, keeps to his vision of developing young Oceania riders, this year’s team sees four more experienced UCI Continental riders join forces with three U21 developing riders. By racing these two groups alongside each other the young athletes not only gain experience and learn from the older riders, but our UCI riders are also encouraged to think more critically and challenge themselves to become better leaders on the road.
Nineteen-year-old, Connor Brown is looking forward to using his strong time trailing and climbing abilities to assist the team goals. Connor impressed in the 2017 Tour of Tasmania and already at the Victoria Road Series this year. On Saturday, Connor will be hoping for a better result than previous editions where he was involved in a crash just a few kilometres into the race, breaking his bike which is not ideal when there is still 225km of racing to go.
“Last years race was just one of those bad moments that make you hold your hands up and throw the cliche ‘that’s racing’ out there. I definitely have extra motivation for the weekend. We had a laugh about it when the guys realised that was me; talking about ‘that guy that snapped his seat stays right at the start,’ and I had to awkwardly put my hand up and say ‘that was me!’. I had a good race at Oceania’s earlier in the season and I’m really looking to build on that as well as support the guys.”
The main climb up Gibraltar will see an interesting battle with some of the best climbers present; St. George bring former mobius BridgeLane star, Benjamin Dyball whilst Sam Crome (BSW), U23 National Champion Cyrus Monk (DEF), former winner Pat Lane (IFM), 2018 Tour of Tasmania winner Lionel Mawditt (IFM) and Tour of Tochigi winner Michael Potter (ACA) will all start.
David Reid Homes 58th Grafton to Inverell Roster
Connor Brown (NZL)
Jesse Coyle (NSW)
Liam Edwards (VIC)
Carne Groube (NZL)
Angus Lyons (VIC)
Conor Murtagh (VIC)
Aden Reynolds (NSW)
The David Reid Homes 58th Grafton to Inverell begins at 7.15am on Saturday 12th May and will be broadcast live on radio Star FM 91.9 (and on their website). We will be bringing you live updates on Twitter through @mobiusBridgeLN and #G2I18 and #NRS18.
The Classic will also feature the Regional Australia Bank Grafton to Inverell des Femmes, the second year that the women have had their own category in this race.
Full race profiles and event details can be found at www.graftontoinverell.com.au or cycling.org.au/NRS.
*The Melbourne to Warrnambool has been taken off the calendar for 2018 due to date changes but will return in 2019.