Riders revved for Tyalgum classic


MURWILLUMBAH Cycle Club junior Bianca Bailey will join a field of 89 cyclists in today's Tyalgum Cup.

The 16 year old fitness fanatic, who juggles cycling and triathlon, won the junior club championship just seven months after taking up cycling and feels the 36km course from Tyalgum out the Eungella road and return will play to her strengths.

"It is a fairly hilly course which I don't mind," she said.

"I'm not the best on the flats but I like the hills. We'll see how my fitness goes."

The combined handicap race is for all categories from under-17's to masters, but being so new to the sport Bailey isn't looking over her shoulder too hard.

"I don't know much about the juniors or who my competitors will be but it should be a strong field," she said.

That will certainly be the case in the open section with European professional Jason Phillips defending the title he won last year.

Tour de France green jersey winner Robbie McEwan is threatening to make a surprise appearence while Kane Oakley, who will ride for British continental team DFL/Cyclingnews.com this year, will also be racing.

Despite the 36km course providing a relatively quick spectacle, Murwillumbah Cycle Club vice-president Dennis Burger said the lesser riders face being rapidly hauled in by the pros.

"Last year Jason Phillips and [runner-up] Jon Cantwell averaged around 45km an hour in the event."

Limit riders will lead off at 8.00am NSW time.

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