Riders cross Classic finish line
THE road from Gatton to Warwick was transformed into a race track on Saturday with Victoria St acting as the finish line for hundreds of cyclists hurtling into town for the 2011 Upper Limb Cunningham Classic.
Regarded as the most prestigious one-day cycling event in Queensland, the race started at Gatton about 9am Saturday morning with riders traversing hilly terrain in order to reach Warwick about lunch time.
Riders made their way to Warwick via Heifer Creek Rd and the roads around Clifton and Allora.
Kangaroo Point Cycling Club president Dr Aaron Urquhart said he was happy with how the event unfolded, with no major incidents and a strong turnout.
“We have 388 entries, which is the biggest Cunningham Classic we have ever had,” he said.
“The conditions have been good with some of the under-19 riders getting up to 50km per hour on the flat and 60 or 70km per hour on the downhill.”
In its 29th year, the Cunningham Classic boasted 10 divisions including an under 19s class, a ladies section and masters divisions in which riders completed 96km.
The first riders to cross the line arrived in Warwick a little after noon, taking just under three-and-a-half hours to complete the course.
The elite division riders were challenged with a 176km course and started to arrive just after 1pm.
The under 19s class winner, 17-year-old Gold Coast rider Jesse Kerrison, said it was a solid day of racing.
“It was a tough course set out for us by the organisers and it was a bit windy but it was good,” he said.
Brisbane rider Chris Nash took out the masters B division by two minutes, with mate John Murazack coming close behind.
In addition to the 388 cyclists, 60 volunteers supported the event and the riders' personal support teams also rolled into town, bringing a total of about 700 people to the region at the weekend.
The race was sponsored by the Brisbane Hand and Upper Limb Clinic – a group of highly respected orthopedic surgeons who assist many of Queensland's top sportspeople.