Almost 200 nominations confirmed for Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic

Nathan Elliott takes out the 2016 Melbourne to Warrnambool. Picture: Rob Gunstone
Nathan Elliott takes out the 2016 Melbourne to Warrnambool. Picture: Rob Gunstone

ORGANISERS hope a 200-strong and talent-laden Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic field can help the race recapture its world-class status.

Several high-profile athletes have nominated to compete in the time-honoured event, including one of Australia’s best track cyclists in Sam Welsford.

Welsford was first in the individual pursuit at the Australian National Track Championships and is an Olympic silver medallist in team pursuit.

Former director and race spokesperson John Craven was expecting a “fabulous” standard of cycling.

“Getting Sam Welsford to the race is the equivalent of getting Usain Bolt for a running event in Warrnambool,” Craven said.

“He’s a terrific rider, there is no doubt about it. He’s arguably the best track cyclist in the country.

“You’ve also got Tim Decker, who won the race a decade ago, who is a bit of a Clydesdale. He loves the race. It’s very dear to his heart and I think it’ll be his 20th start.”

Craven said entries were on par with the 2016 event.

The veteran promoter also revealed their was an improved spread of competitors, with several overseas cyclists set to descend on the region for the race.

“It’ll be a fabulous race. There’s a Swiss rider called Cedric Jolidon, whose father came third in the 1990s, who is taking part this year,” Craven said.

The Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic is on Saturday.