Cy­clist to test skills against world’s best

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

AM­A­TEUR cy­clist Lionel Soh says the up­com­ing Gran Fondo World Se­ries in Perth will pro­vide the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to see how far he has pro­gressed since tak­ing up the sport.

The South Lake res­i­dent be­gan cy­cling less than two years ago and has since taken part in sev­eral char­ity rides.

With the chance to qual­ify for the Gran Fondo World Cham­pi­onships in Septem­ber and race with 12-time Tour de France stage win­ner Rob­bie McEwan, Mr Soh said it was time to test his skills.

“I’ve been want­ing to take part in a com­pet­i­tive race for a while and it’s a good way to gauge where I’m at fit­ness­wise com­pared with oth­ers in my age group,” he said.

Next week’s World Se­ries will be bro­ken into two events – a 16km time trial on March 11 and a 143km road race two days later.

The top 25 per cent from each of the eight age cat­e­gories will qual­ify for the world cham- pi­o­nships, to be run over the same course. It will be the first time the world cham­pi­onships have been held in Aus­tralia.

For­mer Aus­tralian sprint king McEwan has signed on as an am­bas­sador for the event, and will ride in the qual­i­fier next week.

Mr Soh said it was ex­cit­ing to have an op­por­tu­nity to race with one of Aus­tralia’s finest.

Event di­rec­tor David Sier­akowski said close to 1000 rid­ers had signed on to the road race, with 400 to test them­selves in the time trial.

That in­cludes 70 in­ter­na­tional rid­ers and 250 in­ter­state rid­ers.

Race di­rec­tor Matt Poyner said of the time trial cir­cuit: “The time trial starts and fin­ishes at El­iz­a­beth Quay. We’re tak­ing River­side Drive and Mounts Bay Road. We go past UWA and the brew­ery so it’s a very iconic spot for WA. It’s ab­so­lutely dead...

Mr Poyner on the road race: “The small­est bunch we’re go­ing to have is 100 rid­ers and the big­gest could be around 165 rid­ers on the day of the qual­i­fier. We’ll be tak­ing in the free­way and Reid High­way ... We’re clos­ing off the Zig Zag trail and go­ing...

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