HE had set a goal of simply making the distance but Nathan Browne’s top 30 finish in “Australia’s toughest ride” had him over the moon.
On Saturday, Gunnedah’s Nathan Browne took part in the 56th annual Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic, completing the 228 kilometre ride in seven hours and five minutes.
“I’m pretty happy right now. There were record times in the A, B and C grades,” Nathan said.
He finished 23rd in the C grade ride, only 15 minutes separating him and first place.
Grafton local Jye Reardon took out the Inverell RSM C Grade, from Ashley Stapley and Joe Stokes.
“I’m definitely pretty chuffed. It goes to show if you’re committed you can do it,” he said.
A steep, winding 18 kilometre ascent up the Gibraltar Range is often where the race is won and lost.
Browne said it was tougher than he’d anticipated.
“It was difficult and my legs were cramping – I just had to use a few techniques.
“Not having any climbs in the area like that [to train on], it was totally different,” he said.
Patrick Lane, from team Avanti Isowhey Sport set a new race record blitzing the field to claim top spot in the A grade.
Lane’s finish, in a time of 5 hours, 57 minutes and 55 seconds, broke the record formerly held by 2011 winner Mark Jamieson.
In the B Grade division, Daniel Alcock from Coffs Harbour finished 20 seconds ahead of Paul Wilks and Calem Wilcox to win the race.
Browne will now turn his attention to the Nemingha to Nundle Race this Sunday, as he steps up preparation for the 2016 Keegan Downes Memorial Sundowner Handicap Cycling Classic in June.