The annual Battle of the Border national road racing cycling event through the scenic Tweed Valley, postponed in April due to the big floods, is on this weekend and again set to draw hundreds of keen cycling fans.
In March, Cyclone Debbie flooding caused not only loss of life but major damage to roads and council infrastructure, with restoration works still underway.
Mike Crawley, a spokesman for organiser QSMSports, said the not-for-profit event to brings an influx of sporting tourism back into the region and helps ‘recharge the local economy’.
‘We are looking forward to bringing cyclists and athletes from around Australia to the Tweed and showcasing the region as a premier sporting destination,’ Mr Crawley said.
‘Since the event started in 2009, we have enjoyed a strong partnership with the communities in the Tweed and Mt Warning Caldera.
‘I’d like to thank Destination New South Wales, Destination Tweed, and Tweed Shire Council for their continued loyal support of the Battle and road racing in New South Wales,’ he added.
‘The strong partnership extends to the teams and riders, with a quality field ensuring its support of the three-day Tour, one of the staple events on the Subaru NRS calendar.
‘Fresh off his maiden Subaru NRS Tour victory at last weekend’s Amy’s Otway Tour, Queensland’s Ryan Cavanagh (NSWIS) is eager to contest the event held just a couple of hours from his Sunshine Coast hometown.
Cavanagh said he has ‘missed only one Battle from since it has started, I always want to a part of it as it is such a great event’.
Cavanagh, who rides for the Sydney based NSWIS outfit, said the roads ‘are dynamic and good for racing, I rode on the course a few weeks back, so I feel like I have an advantage knowing the roads so well’.
Cavanagh has rocketed to third overall on the Subaru NRS individual rankings, and with the two riders above him in Mathew Ross (Drapac Pat’s Veg Cycling) and Michael Freiberg (Isowhey Sports SwissWellness) absent from the Tour, a strong showing in the Tweed could see him in the leader’s jersey by Monday.
The women’s field this weekend might be without the Series leaders in Shannon Malseed and the Holden Women’s Racing Team, but it is certainly not without a host of strong contenders.
Returning to the Subaru NRS is former under 23 national champion Queensland’s Emily Roper who will race just her second NRS event in the past few seasons after taking a break from the sport. The Gold Coast-native will line up in a strong High5 Dream Team looking to cut Holden’s lead in the team standings.
‘I have two team mates who have just returned in Europe in Lucy and Jess (Pratt) and Bec who have great form,’ said Roper, who will provide valuable support to Amy’s Otway Tour winner Rebecca Wiasak and 2017 Tour de l’Ardeche winner Lucy Kennedy who sits fourth overall in the Subaru NRS rankings.
‘We will have a strong team for the time trial and we will be hoping for a good result so we have a good advantage after the first day,’ added Roper, who like Cavanagh believes Saturday’s teams time trial will shape the Tour. Roper will also be putting her knowledge of the local roads to the team’s benefit.
The tour begins tomorrow (Saturday) based from the Murwillumbah Showgrounds with a Time Trial. The course will impact Queensland Road, Numinbah Road, and Nobby’s Creek Road between 6.30am and 11am.
The second stage on Saturday is the Stan Brims Criterium from 11.00am to 4pm. The closed circuit race follows Mooball Street, Rous Street, Ewing Street, Queensland Road, and Murwillumbah Street.
On Sunday, the tour moves to Tyalgum for a Road Race showcasing the Mt Warning caldera and Tweed Valley. Races start at 6.30am and are due to finish by 4pm.
Roads impacted include Coolman Street, Coodgie Street, Wollumbin Street, Tyalgum Road, Kyogle Road, Park Avenue, North Arm Road, Numinbah Road, Zara Road, and Limpinwood Road.
Monday’s finale is set to challenge riders’ tired legs with the Road Race again based from Tyalgum with an extension through Stokers Siding.
Races start at 6.30am and are due to finish by 4pm. Roads impacted include Coolman Street, Limpinwood Road, Zara Road, Numinbah Road, N Arm Road, Park Avenue, Kyogle Road, Bakers Road, Mistral Road, Tweed Valley Way, Stokers Road, Smiths Creek Road, Tyalgum Road, Wollumbin Street, and Coodgie Street.
Races are expected to cause minor impacts to local traffic with short delays as police and traffic controllers escort the cycling convoy.
For more information visit www.BattleRecharge.org.