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Australian Champions look to impress on home soil

 

Over 1,600 entries from 37 different countries worldwide are ready to roll for the 2016 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships beginning in Perth tomorrow.

The event is the culmination of 15 UCI Gran Fondo World Series events held around the world, with 25% of riders in each age group qualifying for the championships.

The opening day of the event will see 400 riders converge on Perth’s picturesque Rottnest Island for Thursday’s 19.4 kilometre race against the clock.

“We have riders from all around the world, we have over 600 internationals so we’re really excited to see how the racing unfolds,” said Race Director Matt Poyner.

“Stephen Fairless from Victoria is here to defend his world championship title and we have some of the best Australian cyclists of all time– Patrick Jonker, Robbie McEwen, Tom Leaper, Danny Clark – all here to try and win the rainbow jersey on home soil.”

Friday will see riders tackle the team relay event, with the course alongside Perth’s Swan River, adjacent to Langley Park, before the official twilight opening ceremony and time trial podium presentations.

The event’s grand finale will see riders racing 105 kilometres and 155 kilometres in the Gran Fondo finishing in the township of Kalamunda in the scenic Perth Hills.

“Tomorrow’s time trial is a circular course of Rottnest Island, riders will have a head wind, a tail wind and two cross-winds. It’s a little bit damp on the island today but we’re expecting clear weather and light winds tomorrow, so we’re anticipating some fast times for the individual time trial,” said Poyner.

The championships are being held in Australia for the first time, with cyclists aged between 19 and 77 years of age set to battle for the coveted rainbow world champion jersey across the time trial and road race disciplines.

 

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