GEARING UP: Nick Leonard prepares for his second Tour De Valley.
GEARING UP: Nick Leonard prepares for his second Tour De Valley. Photo Daniel McKenzie

Punishing schedule has Valley cyclist ready

MURWILLUMBAH Cycle Club’s Nick Leonard is pumping out countless hours on the bike in a gruelling weekly regime in preparation for the region’s premier weekend of cycling.

Leonard is preparing for his second Tour De Valley and a new cycling event, the Kirra Criterium Classic, next weekend.

On top of working up to 10 hours a day in his construction job, Leonard is combining 500km of road cycling per week, on top of 150km of stationary riding at his home to make sure he is fit and ready to go.

The punishing schedule will hold Leonard in good stead for the super weekend of cycling, which is set to transform the region with more than 400 cyclists to converge on the coast for the bumper weekend of racing.

The two days of high quality cycling will showcase the local region and features the Criterium Classic speed race on the Saturday, followed by solo and team challenge 36km and 72km time-trials on the Sunday.

Leonard, who missed last year’s event, is itching to get out there and can’t wait to tackle the tour this year.

“I was devastated I missed out last year and I’m stoked to have another go at it this year,” Leonard said.

“The tour is really good and the Currumbin Valley is probably one of the best places you can ride.

“Scenic-wise, you can’t get any better and it’s one of the best places you can ever race.”

Leonard has been racing for almost four years, after his association with Tweed Bike Shop led him to the Murwillumbah club.

He loves riding for Murwillumbah and said it was a wonderful club to be a part of.

“I like the atmosphere down there, it’s a relaxed kind of style,” Leonard said.

“Every Saturday is a road race down there and it’s good racing, a great club and great people.”

As part of the tour, Leonard and seven Murwillumbah teammates will go head-to-head for points against three other clubs from the region.

He said he and his teammates worked well as a team and were confident of putting in a good performance and challenging for a win.

“We will have a good crack at it this year for sure and will hopefully get a good result,” Leonard said.

The Kirra Criterium Classic is a new event this year and will offer spectators a thrilling showcase of speed racing along the Kirra foreshore.

Event organiser Chris Thompson said the southern region was becoming the hub for cycling, making it the perfect time to introduce the new race.

“It’s a very exciting time to be introducing a new event, which we hope will become a regular feature on the event calendar for our region,” Thompson said.

“It’s a great lead-in to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, with the road cycling events to be hosted here in Currumbin.”

Leonard is looking forward to tackling the new event on the Saturday and thinks if he and his fellow riders can put in a good performance, it can become a regular event on the calendar.

“The Kirra Criterium is going to be awesome on the Saturday and, if it goes well with numbers, it will be a certain thing (for the future),” Leonard said.

“Cycling is definitely growing (in the region) and it will be unreal.

“I can’t wait for it.”

For more information or to sign up for the Tour De Valley, visit www.tourdevalley.

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