Four Gunnedah cyclists travelled to Merriwa for the Le Tour De Merriwa event and the Giro De Cassilis.

Held over consecutive days, the majority of the Merriwa township supports these events.

The events featured a 45km race on Saturday (Cassilis), followed by 85km on Sunday (Merriwa). 

The four Gunnedah riders who took part included Grant Roberts, Libby Elms, Nathan Browne and Garry Turner.

Roberts competed in both events which featured at least 20km of the course on gravel roads.

The remainder of the Gunnedah contingent completed the Merriwa leg which also featured a mix of gravel and bitumen surfaces.

Garry Turner said the event promotion, preparation and race day was run very well by the local organisers.

“Flags and bicycle displays are set up all along the riding course and roads leading into Merriwa,” Turner said.

“The local Rotary club run the barbecues and the halfway mark and the finish which is all included in the race entry fee.

“It really was a great effort.

“We talked to the race organiser Robert Smith, he has been involved for many years and he was very pleased.

“We are hoping it will be run next year.”

Gunnedah has traditionally hosted two point-to-point road races each year, the Keegan Downes Memorial Sundowner Handicap Cycling Classic (Coonabarabran-Gunnedah) and the Gunnedah to Tamworth event. But Turner hoped to lure riders to Gunnedah for looped events, similar to Merriwa and Cassilis, in the future. 

“We have nice quiet roads out along Wandobah Road which we can ride out and back over 30-40km,” he said. 

“Even 80km distances which can cater for a good range of cyclists and finish back at the showground with local charities doing the catering.”

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