Illawarra Cycle Club official Karen Thornton has urged local riders to get in quick when entries for iconic Ken Dinnerville Memorial Handicap open on Tuesday.
Last year’s event sold out in a record seven minutes and Thornton expects entries to for the 102 kilometre ride to fill at a similar rate when entries open at 9am on Tuesday.
“Entry is open to all riders with gold Cycling Australia licences but is limited to 170 participants,” Thornton said.
“Last year all those positions were taken up on the online system in just seven minutes, which has never occurred in CNSW history and many riders travelled from interstate to take part.
“It’s a popular event because of its considerable history, plus it is one of the few long handicap road races left in Australia.’’
Starting and finishing at the Illawarra Christian School’s Albion Park campus for the first time, the 2014 edition of the Dinnerville will be 12 kilometres longer than in past years and is expected to test participants, who will start in no less than 10 groups and ride four laps of the course around West Dapto.
2013 winner Brad Martin from ICC is hoping to at the least be able to help some of his club mates to the win this year, but admits that another win would be “brilliant”.
Martin’s 2013 win at the Dinnerville broke a 29 year drought and also represented the club’s first-ever trifecta.
Joel Walsh and Steve Bisceski finished in second and third positions behind Martin, whose name has gone on the honour role as one of only eight local riders to win the race. Others including Sid Connelly (1959), Alf Overton (1963), Clive Jones (1965), Stephen Rudd (1979), Lionel Covington (1980), Carlo Paiola (1983), and Roger Crocker (1984).
The race is held each year in memory of Ken Dinnerville who was killed in 1954 while out riding.