May 10, 2019

VDR Return to Grafton with Ambition

Racing across the country can be expensive – particularly when there are no national rounds close to our home base of Adelaide. For this reason, we weren’t able to travel to Grafton for one of the most prestigious races in the country until last year have we started the race with a small team – which was just as much a fact-finding mission in preparation for the years to come as an attempt to win the race.

The challenge with a race of this nature is that everything is spread out, and the support access is very limited. Consequently, in 2018 we had riders where they needed to be in the race, but they missed bottles, food and clothing at critical points leaving our riders lacking. Twelve months on we are prepared, and looking forward to what will be an action-packed day of racing.

We go into the race with several strong cards to play – and will be able to deal with most situations that arise. The defining feature of the race is the climb over Gibraltar Range, so it’s no surprise that we selected some of our strongest climbers for the outing.

Rylan Dowdell takes on the race for the second time after a crash ruined his chances in 2018. Coming into a strong block of form we are expecting him to be up with the favourites over the top of the climb. Also back for a second time is Iven Bennett – a rider who loves long distance racing, and we expect him to come into his own in the later stages of the race. Jason Thomason comes into the race with some career-best form – and will be one to watch coming into the finish.

Also back for his second attempt is David Randall – and the racing conditions will determine whether he is working for others or gets supported. Ethan Egglestone comes into the race after an interrupted lead-in – but we expect his talent to shine through. Rounding out the team is Daniel Siwek – making his NRS debut. The Grafton probably isn’t the most obvious race to start racing NRS – but Siwek has come on in leaps and bounds over the past 18 months – and we expect the climbing talent to impress.

Tune into our, and NRS coverage to keep up to date with the days racing.

Thanks to our sponsors – both major and minor – for providing these amazing experience to our riders.