The title of Australia’s best gravel racer, presented by Cyclist magazine, is up for grabs but the real question remains: Will the 2018 green and gold jersey be won by a lycra-clad roadie or donned by flannelette-wearing adventurer?
It’s official. Cyclist Australia/NZ magazine is the naming rights partner of the 2018 Gravel National Championships. Skidding smoothly into the Wiggle Amy’s Gran Fondo weekend (let’s call it a festival), the Cyclist Gravel National Championships is calling adventure experts, gravel pioneers, roadies and mountain bikers to line up – with the appropriate equipment of course – to challenge for the prestigious green and gold jersey of Australian champion.
“Our roots will always remain in road cycling but gravel riding has undoubtedly captured our hearts and attention more recently. The opportunity for this new breed of racer to shine during the Wiggle Amy’s Gran Fondo weekend is equally exciting and we can’t wait to watch the green and gold battle unfold between the gravel experts, roadies, mountain bikers and cyclo-cross racers,” said Cyclist Australia/NZ magazine publisher Jim Flynn.
Gravel riding isn’t simply mountain biking with skinny tyres, nor is it a road race across loose terrain. Gravel has it’s own flavour that demands a specific set of skills. It’s a big call but we’re going to put it out there right now… The winners of the inaugural Cyclist Gravel National Championships will, in our mind, be classified as the best cyclists in Australia. Win this thing and you’ll have bragging rights everyday of the week. Road, mountain, CX or track (why not), you’re the most rounded cyclist in the country. Now that’s a chance and an event worth putting in the calendar.
“MTBA are pleased to partner with Cyclist, CA and AGF in an event which encourages riders from different disciplines to come together and enjoy the pleasures of riding their bike and perhaps have a bit of a battle along the way,” MTBA CEO Shane Coppin told Cyclist.
The second part to consider for those who claim the top step is whether you have the green and gold bands printed onto lycra or something a little baggier? We’re betting ‘Flashpackers’ like Jesse Carlson and Sarah Hammond will choose the later but what about the likes of current CX champion Christopher ‘J Blood’ Jongewaard, he’s likely to get the onesie printed. One thing is for certain, anyone with a suitable bike will get through the course and have an opportunity to compare their finishing time to the sport’s very best. Any tilt around Buninyong can be measured against the professionals in laps completed while the Gravel National Championships is all-inclusive. Get through the course and you’re a finisher. We don’t accept DNFs over here.
“This is a new and exciting format of racing and thanks to Cyclist showing their commitment to gravel events, it’s clear that this form of riding is rapidly maturing. We look forward to seeing the stories and imagery that emanate from the inaugural event in September,” added Cycling Australia CEO Steve Drake.
Head across to amysgranfondo.org.au for full details and entry.
Better still, use CYCLIST during checkout to receive $20 off your entry. Promotion is valid for the first 50 CYCLIST entrants.
Date: Saturday 15 September 2018
Start time: 9:00am
Location: Lorne, Victoria, Australia