Deniliquin Cycling Club's premier event will be held in Deniliquin this Sunday.
Waring Gardens will once again be covered in lycra-clad bodies and buzz with the hum of pedals and wheels as criterium racing returns to the streets of Deniliquin.
The popular event will be held this Sunday, and is expected to attract more than 100 visiting cyclists.
A criterium is a closed circuit street race generally held on a tight, technical course that riders have to negotiate at high speed. Deniliquin’s course, which is only 800m, circles the Waring Gardens.
After an hour of riding, cyclists sprint for three laps, often resulting in exciting and close finishes.
The local criterium has become a hallmark event on the cycling calendar, with the race regularly attracting riders from all over Victoria and southern New South Wales, as well as a strong local contingent.
Top level riders who have competed in the Deniliquin criterium in the past, and will be here again, include former national champion Leigh Egan, Shepparton’s Steve Fairless, who has recently returned from racing in Europe, and Building Champions squad member Kate Finegan.
Also competing will be Bendigo’s Brenton Slottegraf, who will be out to defend his A grade title.
Deniliquin Cycling Club president Mick Tranby said the Deniliquin criterium is one that many riders from around the region pencil in as a ‘‘must’’.
‘‘Our crit is creating such a name for itself because it is seen as one of the best ran road races in the area and as being a well organised event with great prizemoney and great racing,” Tranby said.
‘‘We run the race in conjunction with Echuca Moama Cycling Club and we are expecting more than 100 riders, with most of them coming from out of town.
‘‘They bring their families and mates and they’re all hungry to win and compete here and all go home wanting more.’’ Grades for this year’s event includes juniors, a stand alone women’s grade and the usual A, B, C and D grades.
Mr Tranby said the generosity of the event’s many sponsors, including the Deniliquin RSL Club and McDonald’s, allow the local club to put on a great day with music, food, coffee, children’s activities and, most importantly, exciting bike racing.
The Deniliquin criterium is also a fund raiser for Heart Kids Australia, who assist children with heart conditions around the country.
Racing begins at noon on Sunday, and roads around Waring Gardens will be closed from Sunday morning until Sunday afternoon.
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