Cy­clo-cross back in Beauty

Alpine Observer - - Sport -

ABOUT 230 rid­ers are ex­pected at this week­end’s Singapore Air­lines Vic­to­rian Cy­clo-cross Se­ries races at Mt Beauty.

The White Mud Clas­sics will be hosted by Team Mt Beauty with racing to take place at Big Hill Moun­tain Bike Park on Satur­day and Sun­day.

It will be the first time back-to-back rounds of the state se­ries have been held at Mt Beauty af­ter or­gan­is­ers de­cided not to race at Bright on Sun­day.

Race di­rec­tor and Team Mt Beauty pres­i­dent Liam Panozzo said rid­ers will face their big­gest test of the year on what is the most dif­fi­cult course on the Vic­to­rian Cy­clo-cross cal­en­dar.

“We change the course a lit­tle bit ev­ery year but there’s re­ally noth­ing else like our course in Aus­tralia,” he said.

“It’s prob­a­bly one of the most tech­ni­cal cour­ses around be­cause of the amount of el­e­va­tion and the dif­fer­ent sur­face pro­file it has com­pared to a lot of places.”

The fourth run­ning of the Vic­to­rian Cy­clo-cross Se­ries con­sists of six stops.

Rounds three and four at Mt Beauty fol­low on from the sea­son’s open­ing two events at Essendon Fields and Bal­larat last month.

Garry Mil­burn is the cur­rent se­ries leader in the A grade men af­ter claim­ing vic­tory in rounds one and two while Mel­lissa Anset heads the women’s A grade stand­ings af­ter grab­bing a first and third.

Along with A grade men and women there will be B and C grade cat­e­gories, open men and women and a ju­nior class.

There are few sports in which rain adds to the spec­ta­cle but that is ex­actly what or­gan­is­ers and rid­ers are hop­ing for.

“Hope­fully we might get 20-30mm of rain on Fri­day which will make it a su­per muddy af­fair,” Panozzo said.

“Cy­clo-cross is a sport that orig­i­nated in Europe, and while com­peti­tors ride most of the time they usu­ally get off their bikes and run them up cer­tain hills or carry them over dif­fer­ent ob­sta­cles, mud just makes it that lit­tle bit tougher.

“Last year was fairly dry but the year be­fore we had a lot of rain be­fore and dur­ing the race.

“The con­di­tions com­pletely wrecked the rid­ers, but they couldn’t have been hap­pier.”

Racing starts at about 10am each day and will con­clude a bit be­fore 3pm.

BY JUSTIN JENVEY

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