The men’s 2016 Subaru National Road Series finally gets underway this Saturday with the 56th running of the Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic, it’s a race that’s traditionally run in spring near the end of the series but this year it will run as the first round of the National Road Series.

Sean Lake won last year for the second time in a row and returns to defend his title with Avanti Isowhey Sport.

Here’s a preview of the 2016 Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic.

Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic Route

The Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic starts from Memorial Park in Grafton at and covers 228km and 3,200 metres of climbing with four KOM’s including the 17km climb up the Gibraltar Range, after the climb there is 140km to go as the race passes through Glenn Innes and then on to finish in Inverell. There are three intermediate sprints.

Grafton to Inverell race map and profile
Grafton to Inverell race map and profile (via cyclingprofiles.com.au)

The Gibraltar Climb

One of the reasons the Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic is called Australia’s toughest one-day classic is the Gibraltar Range climb. The fastest 7 climbs out of 672 attempts were all set last year with Tim Cameron fastest followed by Joseph Cooper with Sean Lake fourth, all within three seconds of each other. The Gibraltar Range climb is 15.9km long at an average gradient of 6%.

Gibraltar climb in the Grafton to Inverell
Gibraltar Climb – Strava

2016 Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic and Subaru National Road Series Contenders

Sean Lake returns aiming for a three-peat with super team Avanti Isowhey Sport and therefore he starts as the favourite not only for this race but likely as one of the outright favourites for the Subaru National Road Series. Lake won the time trial and road races at the Oceania champs and was third at the Australian nationals time trial title.
Joseph Cooper won the Subaru National Road Series in 2014 and finished third overall last year. Cooper will start as a favourite for the race and the overall NRS title.
Patrick Lane was fourth in last years Grafton to Inverell and is another rider who moved from the now defunct AWS team to Avanti Isowhey Sport.
Dylan Sunderland finished eighth last year and leads the State of Matter / MAAP team.
Jason Christie riding for Kenyan Riders Downunder.
Matthew Clark racing for Satalyst Verve Racing.

Teams Championship

It will be a battle between defending champions Avanti Isowhey Sport, State of Matter / MAAP, St George Merida Cycling Team, St George Merida Cycling Team and AMR Renault Racing Team.

Full entry list here

Follow the 2016 Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic on twitter using #g2i

Follow this link to view the 2016 National Road Series Calendar.

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