The Simon Anderson Consultants 2018 Masters Road National Championships will take place over challenging terrain in one of the southern-most areas of Australia, the picturesque Gippsland Lakes region, however the distance is no barrier for a group of cyclists from Cairns who will be making the 3,000km trek to the start line.
A crew of seven from the Cairns Cycling Club, including Damien Ingram (MAS4) and Gary Haydon (MAS5), will line up across the three days in the road race, time trial and criterium.
For Gary Haydon, who will contest the Masters 5 division, it comes after two straight seasons of lining up in one of Australia’s toughest races, the Melbourne to Warrnambool.
“Last year, it was a great buzz of competing on the Commonwealth Games course in such a lovely part of Australia,” said Haydon. “With no Melbourne to Warrnambool in 2018, it made sense to do this event again and experience what I’m told is another lovely part of Australia.”
The Championships kicks off on Thursday 18 October with the individual time trials in Metung, followed by the road races on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 October in Swan Reach. The Championships conclude on Sunday 21 October with the criteriums in Paynesville.
“I finished the road race and criterium in a reasonable position in both, so I am looking to improve on them this year,” added Haydon.
For Damien Ingram, the Masters Nationals is a logical progression from the club and regional scene.
“Cairns members ride together regularly and participate in numerous events at both club and state level as a regional team,” said Ingram who will line up in the Masters 4 category. “However, as the state and national level events are absent in the Far North, it requires us to look afar to compete at this level.
“The Masters Nationals presents the opportunity to test ourselves both terrain and age group. Also, October is a fantastic time of year for us here in the Far North, providing perfect weather with an appropriate lead-in to train.
“The southern climate is always a little shock to the system but the annual pilgrimage to these southern events, has us becoming acclimatised.”
So what is it about the Cairns Cycling Club that has this crew so motivated to travel and race together?
“It is a nice country club in Far North Queensland, and now the home of the Tour of the Tropics also known as TOTT,” added Haydon. “The club has a good mixture of criterium, and road races and racing numbers are excellent.
“Quite often we pick up an NRS rider training in the region, trying to escape the southern winter, who will enter the races and give us all a touch-up.”
Simon Anderson Consultants 2018 Masters Road National Championships
Enter Masters RoadNats now.
Find out more about the Cairns Cycling Club here.
Bullant Brewery Bruthen is located on the Great Alpine Road & East Gippsland Rail Trail in Bruthen, 15 minutes from Bairnsdale.
Neil and Lois Triggs are locals who have a passion for beer and food and so they created the Bullant Brewery.
The concept for the Bullant Brewery Bruthen is simple: to pair the best onsite brewed beer with the best regionally sourced food. The key word here is “balance”. A destination rather than just another boutique brewery. Bullant beers are designed to match their menu just like wine, but they are equally enjoyable as a solely refreshing beverage. The brewery complex is welcoming and generous, purpose built to offer the best facilities. Its skillion roofs and corrugated iron walls complement the local hardwood timbers used in the deck and bar areas. Also the working copper brew house can be viewed through large, wide windows.
Experience the Bullant Brewery, Bruthen – the home of ‘beer with bite’. Follow Bullant Brewery on Facebook for upcoming live music and beer degustation events
46 Main Street, Bruthen (on the Great Alpine Road), East Gippsland, Victoria 3885 Australia
Phone: (03) 5157 5307
Less than a year ago, Sydney’s Katie Banerjee (Harlequin Wheelmen Cycling Club) wasn’t even racing bikes.
This month, she joined 2500 riders at the 2018 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Varese and was one of the few to walk away with a medal.
In October, Katie will head to the picturesque East Gippsland region for the 2018 Masters Road National Championships.
Cycling Australia sat down with her to chat about her whirlwind twelve months in the sport and goals for the Nationals.
You have just returned from winning bronze in the Women's 45-49 category at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, tell me about the race and your experience?
This was my first experience in international women’s racing, I spent a week in St Johann in Tirol (Austria) competing in the World Masters Federation World Cup before going onto Varese (Italy) for the Gran Fondo World Champs.
The World Cup is a fantastically organised event, currently in its 50th year and worthy of greater international recognition. It involves many different events spread over a week including a short and mid-distance road race, hill climb, airport sprint and time trial. There is also even a vintage bike race.
For me, this was excellent racing preparation for the World Champs, mainly as I had been off the road since late June with a broken collarbone, shoulder blade and shoulder joint and was only allowed back out on the road a week before flying out to Europe.
The World Champs themselves was a hard, tough race. 130k with 2000m of climbing and a very aggressive style of riding from the gun. Fortunately for me, the first climb came at 12 k, so I was able to get in the leading group safely from here on. I led on all six climbs in the race and finished 3rd in the final sprint which I was extremely pleased with given this was my first major event overseas.
Why Masters cycling? How long have you been racing Masters and what made you take it up?
I’ve only been racing for a year!
I come from a long distance running background which I took up again for fun a few years after my kids were born to get fit again. After emigrating to Australia from the UK, I stopped running and then bought my first bike three years ago as a way to stay fit with friends, doing a few charity rides and weekend coffee rides.
I immediately got the cycling bug and wanted to do more and more challenges. Starting with the Gong ride, Bobbin Head Classic and then the Zoo to Zoo.
I work as a paediatrician for Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, and it was on the hospitals Pedal4kids charity ride I met my coach Jon Leighton from Peloton Events. He suggested if I wanted to take cycling more seriously I should join a few local riding groups (HKGG’s and JFR) to get out more during the week, start training properly and enter a few Masters events.
So it’s all really happened from there really, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind year for me juggling work, training and family life but my kids and husband have been very supportive and excited for me.
I would love to encourage more women of any age into cycling either recreationally or competitively. You’re never too old to start, I started at 44 years old and only wish I’d discovered cycling sooner.
You’ve joined the Vie13KOM Financial Advice racing team - tell me about that?
I’ve recently joined the Vie13KOM Financial Advice racing team. Unfortunately, I broke my shoulder the week before my first planned race for them, but I hope now to be able to ride some local and NRS events for them soon.
It’s great to have the opportunity to race with like-minded ladies and support each other. I’m so excited to be racing in a team that represents women’s cycling across all grades (and age levels).
Goals for 2018 Road Nationals in October?
The first race I ever entered was the Road Nationals in 2017, but a mechanical problem prevented me from finishing so I’m really looking forward to this year to see how I go.
I’m hoping to be able to compete in all three events. For me, it’s mainly about the enjoyment of racing and trying out new courses, and I’m really looking forward to riding in East Gippsland.
I’m getting to know more and more women now in the Masters events so it will be fun to catch up with a few familiar faces, especially my teammates.
I’m currently still enjoying being relatively new to the cycling scene as there is less pressure or expectation on me from myself or others. I’m not sure how long that will last though!
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Cycling Australia sat down with triple reigning masters road national champion Simone Grounds (Dubbo Cycling Club) ahead of the 2018 Championships. Simone will be heading down to the picturesque East Gippsland region for the Championships which begin on October 18.
How I got started
I wanted to keep fit in the hockey off season while I was in Brisbane. I started doing triathlons as cross training in the summer and cycling was the leg that suited me and I enjoyed the most, so I kept doing it and started racing. I actually started road cycling racing as part of a Come and Try Racing series initiative for women’s racing by Cycling Queensland. This really helped me develop my confidence and gave me a great pathway to move up through the grades as my confidence and skill as a rider improved.
Best thing about cycling
I love being able to get out in nature, in the landscape and ultimately just be outside with the wind in my hair. There’s so many cycling disciplines and I love them all in their own way. I also love riding with other cyclists – people who I may not other wise meet and share stories over a ride or coffee. It’s a great way to spend time with people and it’s great for mental health.
On developing women’s cycling
I‘m currently riding with the Vie13-KOM (King of the Mountain Financial Advice) women’s racing team. We’re all about developing women’s cycling and have ladies in all grades to inspire and provide a pathway for women who want to race in a supportive environment. We’ve got a great group of Masters ladies who are all inspiring riders and I’m looking forward to having some familiar faces around me at races.
A being a triple defending national champion
2017 Nationals was a big event for me. I’d come back from 2 years of serious fatigue and had finally found the energy to string some good training together and made it a major goal event. I thought I’d never get back into racing again, so it was a huge achievement in my life to commit to that level of training and to have it pay off, so it was a huge “life win” for me.
I also really enjoyed being back up in Queensland. I was familiar with the courses having raced on them when I was living up there as an Elite rider, so that made it a lot easier to prepare for them.
The actual event was completely bittersweet for me. I lost an aunty I was very close to the day before the time trial (the first race), she’d been sick for some time with breast cancer but she went downhill rapidly in the weeks leading up to the Masters. I didn’t feel like I could race, but my family had travelled up to Queensland with me and I just had to do it. I used mindfulness techniques to put my grief aside, focus on my preparation and give my racing all I had.
Looking ahead to 2018 Nationals
I’m most looking forward to seeing if I can repeat those results! Sport is fickle and winning in cycling is so hard! Much harder than people give it credit for.
I’m looking forward to being fit and healthy and with stronger form than last year. I’m also looking forward to racing on different courses. I always love racing in and discovering different areas of Australia.
I hope to set some new PB’s, to get to the line healthy and to spend some quality racing time with my team mates.
Advice for first timers looking to enter the Masters Road Nationals?
Don’t put pressure on yourself and focus on the experience not the results. As a Masters’ athlete, there’s so many demands on your time, you need to minimise the energy you waste on worrying about things. There’s some great people to meet and the events are always really well run, so just enjoy riding with people your own age group and getting inspired by others.
Find out more about the course and schedule here.