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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

River and Ranges Winery Ride just gets better

The annual chance to meet, mix and ride with world-class cyclists is a success again.

CHALPAT SONTI December 4, 2013 11:17am

Not a bad peloton heading down Northwood Rd on a Sunday morning - in front are Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Simon Gerrans of Mansfield and Australian road race and time trial champion Luke Durbridge.


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It might only be in its second year but there’s every indication the River and Ranges Winery Ride is fast becoming one of our region’s premier tourism events.

Despite competition from other events such as the Great Victorian Bike Ride, about 700 riders took part in the variety of rides from Mitchelton Winery on Sunday, up about 200 on last year.

And they came from near and far with plenty of locals — including lots of children — and many from Melbourne. There was even interstate interest from NSW.

It was a cycling fan’s dream, being the only opportunity anywhere in the world this year to mix with the entire Orica-GreenEdge team — featuring Tour de France yellow jersey wearers and world and Olympic champions — and the AIS women’s team, the latter the number one ranked female cycling team in the world.

The rides were over 138km (from Mitchelton down Northwood Rd to Seymour and then a loop around Goulburn Valley Hwy, Ghin Ghin Rd and Highlands Rd returning to the winery), 48km (down Northwood Rd and back), 24km (to Nagambie and back) and 8km (for kids, from the cellar door to the front gate and return twice).

After the rides were completed, riders and others got a chance to mix socially with the pros.

A couple of days before the ride the Orica-GreenEdge team made a detour on a training ride to pay the students at St Joseph’s School in Nagambie a visit.

They took questions from their young fans — though team director Matt White was stumped when asked ‘‘why are the tyres so thin?’’ — and lined up next to the bike trailer which was the result of the inaugural River and Ranges Ride in 2012.

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