Cyclo-cross back in Beauty
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