Hot New Year for road racers

16/02/2019 Posted by admin

YOU may have passed them on the road, even on the hottest afternoons. It would have been Dylan Sunderland and Ryan Thomas, two promising young cyclists who are preparing for some gruelling races at the dawn of the new year.

BIG POTENTIAL: Inverell elite riders Ryan Thomas and Dylan Sunderland will be ambassadors for Inverell when they attend powerhouse events early next year.

Thomas, 19, races with the Data#3 Symantec Racing Team and Sunderland, who turns 18 on January 1, is a member of the Cellarbrations team, soon to be renamed AMR Renault Racing.

Thomas has been racing in the under 23s category for two years, but this will be a step up for Sunderland who graduates from the under 17s in a little over a week.

The two are training for two powerhouse events in Victoria. The first is the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic criterium series at Geelong from January 2-5. Eyes will be on the Nationals a few days later, but Thomas the Mitchelton Bay ‘Crits’ bring out the best.

“All the Australian professionals will be there, so it’s still a big race. But yeah, it’s just prep for us for the Nationals on the 11th,” Thomas said.

The Classic is a criterium a day for four days. Both will compete in the international men’s elite teams category.

They stay in Victoria for the 2015 MARS Cycling Australia Road National Championships from January 7-11. Sunderland and Thomas will race in the criterium through the streets of Ballarat on Wednesday night and the 138km road race on Saturday.

Thomas said the road race will be confronting, comprised of 13 laps of a 10.5km course which features a 3km climb.

To train for that climb, the pair has been doing ‘lookout loops’ from the bottom of Inverell to the top of the lookout on Warialda Road for strength training.

Thomas said they are ready.

“Super ready.I think we’ve done four weeks of strength block now, so we’re just progressing.

“We’re just getting stronger and stronger every week,” Thomas said.

“We’re just starting to move into a speed block now, so we can start building up a race fitness.”

Both riders hope to spend time with their teams in Europe in 2015, absorbing the atmosphere of hard-core cycling that is embedded in the culture.

Meanwhile, Thomas said the domestic scene is no slouch on the international stage.

“The National Road Series road winners, they could be some of the best riders in the world. The level that Australia is coming up is massive.”

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