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Mudgee Classic: Video + Photo Gallery & Highlights From Gravel & Road Fondos

Threatening skies, intermittent showers and cool conditions were no match for the 2000 riders that started the 4th annual Mudgee Classic early on Sunday morning.

Many hardcore enthusiasts were backing up after Saturday’s Dirty Mudgee gravel event held in wet, wild and slippery conditions. But despite the weather, it was all smiles at the start line as wave after wave of riders left on the various event courses that took in the best of the Mudgee region.

With legendary sports presenter Kenny Sutcliffe firing the start gun and colourful compare Lee ‘Hollywood’ Turner motivating, encouraging and egging riders on, cyclists of all ages and abilities headed out onto the region’s roads for the major annual Grand Fondo event.

Lee ‘Hollywood’ Turner with Wide World of Sport legend Ken Sutcliffe at the Mudgee Classic on Sunday.

Around two hours later, they started to arrive back at the local Glen Willow Sporting Complex with some riders conquering their first hundred kilometres, others thrilled to have ridden 35k’s, and others ticking off the 170 km Maxi Classic, stories abounded at the finish line.

Riding Mudgee with 50 fellow riders from the Northern Sydney Cycling Club, Anthony Blomfield said it was always a highlight to head away for a cycling weekend with mates.

“It was well managed, there were heaps of volunteers and it was a wonderful route to ride,” he told us. “There are around 50 of us from the club here. We’ve rented houses on the course and our wives came out the front banging pots and pans as we rode past – we had our own cheers squad.”

Riding her third Mudgee Classic, Nicola Rutzou from the Women Who Cycle blog said she had a sensational weekend despite the weather weather.

“It was really good,” she told us. “A little bit of rain but who cares, we dried off. I met some really good people out there. We came up for a long weekend – drove up from Sydney on Friday and we’re going home tomorrow… it’s such a good little getaway. Four couples from the cycling club have rented a house – we love coming to Mudgee.”

Gallery (story continues below)

Slip Slidin’ Away At Saturday’s Dirty Mudgee

On Saturday afternoon we spoke with lead riders from the second annual Dirty Mudgee gravel event. In quite the understatement local rider Paul Wilks told us “It was quite sloppy out there” as he described the wet & muddy ride.

“We do these loops most Thursdays’ … it’s such a good loop. I moved to Mudgee 12 years ago and love it. The cycling, the vineyards, there are loads of interconnecting gravel roads so it makes it easier to train and gives us some good cycling options.” For those keen to ride with the locals Paul Wilks told us the meeting point is Mudgee’s Giant shop on Sydney Rd each Thursday evening. 

Riding both Saturday’s Gravel event and the Sunday Grand Fondo, Classics ambassador Dee Vero said Mudgee was his number one place to visit for a cycling getaway.

“Today’s ride was so good, the rolling hills through the vineyards and past the wineries, it was just amazing. 

And after yesterday’s gravel he said it was an “all-round cycling weekend”.

“When it’s muddy gravel live that you’re not off the pedals at all,” he said.

“After doing 55km on the limit on Saturday, then pushing it again over the 175km, the country roads today were quite dead so you’re constantly having to push that power. But two stages and some very different riding each day, it was a great weekend away.”

Visit www.mudgeeclassic.com.au to see the official event photos. 

Bicycling Australia’s next major Grand Fondo event is the Bowral Classic in October with registration open now. Visit www.bowralclassic.com.au for full details.

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