It's one of the biggest races on the cycle calendar, and the toughest one day course in Australia: the 59th Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic.
The unforgiving combination of being the second longest one-day race, and one of the hilliest, claiming victory on the 228-kilometre course is highly coveted; an iconic win for any cyclist.
While they may have fought for first and second respectively last year on different sides, InForm TM Insight MAKE teammates Nathan Elliott and Raphael Freienstein will now face the event together on Saturday, with a strong, hungry team who are ready for the challenge.
With 3382m of climbing, including the formidable 17km climb of the Gibraltar Range, 2018 winner Elliott knows all too well that the race can unfold in many ways, but is excited to take it head on with the InForm TM Insight MAKE boys.
“It’s really exciting to have one of the strongest teams in the field going into this race,” Elliott says.
“Raph and I came first and second last year, and our DS Pat Lane has won this event too. On top of that, we have O’Brien, Turnbull, Porter, Drizners and Plapp who will be right up there, so I am really looking forward to it.”
Experience in Elliott, Freienstein, and Mark O’Brien – who’s previously won the NRS – is complimented by a highly skilful young bunch. Lucas Plapp and Jarrad Drizners are members of the Australian Cycling Team’s Podium Potential squad, and Carter Turnbull and Rudy Porter are in fine form after claiming first and fifth at the Tour of East Gippsland last weekend.
For previous G2I winner and DS Pat Lane, it’s the best event on the calendar.
“It’s my favourite race in Australia for sure. It’s always a really tough one, and gets a good deserving winner with the distance and climbs on the course,” he says.
“With the team we have here, we have a lot of guys who can pull of the win and it’ll be an exciting day in the car.”
The InForm TM Insight MAKE line-up for the Tour de Brisbane includes:
How to watch:
The Grafton to Inverell will be streamed via the National Road Series Facebook page facebook.com/NationalRoadSeries
Opening Show – 7 – 7.30am: Watch pre-race interviews and the first 15 minutes of the race.
Replay & Highlights Show – 4 – 5pm: Watch one hour of ‘as-live’ coverage, including the finish plus post-race interviews.