NSW MASTERS ROAD CHAMPIONSHIPS - 30 APR to 2 MAY
Review by Mike O'Reilly (Orange Masters Championship course designer)
The NSW Masters Road Championships have been pencilled in for Orange for over 5 years but the roads around Orange are generally pretty poor (not helped by the local Gold mine traffic). Eventually a road course at nearby Molong was located so after a 5 year wait the Championships finally got into the Orange district. Getting there .. don't speed through the village of Lucknow just before Orange (you've been warned)
Road Course at Molong
The Molong RR is a 28k loop and starts in the Molong main street and heads out towards Manildra onto Packham Drive on a generally uphill profile. The road is neither wide or smoothe. A right hand turn through the hamlet of Gara sees the road improve and a chance to see some great scenery but if you're racing you won't see much. A couple of small testing climbs along Gara Rd takes you to the main hill of the day (this is also the finish on the last lap). After you've crossed the finish line its a right hand turn and a quick descent into Molong township, past the local Hospital and back out onto Packham Drive towards Manildra. Its a tricky uphill finish and the rider who gets the uphill sprint finish right will win easily - be brave and attack with 2k to go, or be smart and wait until the death.
Criterium Course at Orange
Located around the Narambla Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Orange this 2.1k criterium circuit offers smoothe roads, a nice long uphill finish and sweeping corners. Plenty of places to attack and a nice long uphill finish gives everybody a chance.
Individual Time Trial at Orange
The ITT is a 20k course starting & finishing just behind the new Orange Base Hospital and heads out towards the Orange Airport and return. The road condition is average to good, with a couple of small climbs on the way back into Orange to drag you out of the saddle.
BiciSport contenders are certainly up there but with over 400+ riders in the Road Race alone its a fiercely contested Championships. BiciSport riders include Ian Cocks, Anthony Colantonio, Brad Hamblett, Simon Lempriere, Jeremy Hopson, Dean Gale, David Munro, Graham & Sue Tierney, Dom Zumbo, Ian Grainger, Ben Pines, Kirsty Flanagan & Graeme Cockerton.
BELGIAN & GIRO ADVENTURES
Mike O'Reilly will be in Oudenaarde Belgium from 25 April until 18 May. This year the Tour of Italy starts in the Netherlands & Oudenaarde is just a short drive to the Prologue start in Apeldoorn. After the Prologue there are two road stages in the Netherlands (Arnhem & Nijmegan).