THERE WAS no way Nick White was going to miss the chance to defend his Powercor Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic crown.
The Ballarat product will ride alongside his Team BridgeLane teammates when the 104th edition of Australia's oldest one-day race departs from Avalon on Saturday morning.
White, 22, who stormed away to claim the victory last year, announced via Instagram that he was prepared to battle a collapsed lung and fractured rib he sustained in stage one of last week's Herald Sun Tour.
"Some people may say this is stupid... and it probably is, but hey there is only one Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic a year and I can't miss the opportunity to race it," he told his followers on Wednesday.
"I wouldn't do this unless I thought the health was right and I can't wait to line up for it."
White, who edged out Harrison Bailey and Brendan Johnston in a sprint for victory last year, told The Standard on Monday not to rule him out despite the extent of his injuries.
The 2019 Cycling Victoria Cyclist of the Year will have teammates Sam Hill, Ayden Toovey, Ben Hill, Ben Metcalfe, Tom Chapman and Sam Jenner alongside him for the grueling 267-kilometre ride.
White is looking to become the first rider since Nathan Elliott, who also returns this year, to secure consecutive victories.
Elliott completed the feat in 2016-17.
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