Keagan Girdlestone is excited to announce his return to the Australian National Road Series when he takes on the 228km one day classic the Grafton to Inverell race in New South Wales on the 13th May 2017.
Keagan Girdlestone: “I really believe I’m ready for this. I’ve had an awesome block of training with solid 30 hour weeks in the lead up. I’ve gained movement and dexterity in my right arm and I’m lean and super hungry to get back into the NRS for this race. It’s a really competitive level of racing and I just want to ride!”
In the lead up to the Grafton to Inverell 2017, Keagan has not only been training, he’s been racing as well.”I started out with some fondos and fun type events with a clear goal of just finishing. Then I went and raced some elite races here in NZ. I’m not fearful at all in peloton.”
Due to the nature of the graft in his neck, Keagan was initially restricted to under 145 beats per minute at all times. After months of steady training under this limitation, his doctors saw fit to remove the restriction in late March 2017 and “I knew that my real comeback could begin.”
Why the Grafton to Inverell? Keagan: “There are a number of factors; the timing, the single day nature of the race and the fact that it’s over 200km and I’ve never raced over 200km. It’s all about constantly challenging myself…”
Keagan will be a guest rider with the newest (and possibly) youngest squad in the National Road Series- Team Ultra Racing who have stated that their goal for 2017 is to “…establish the team in the National Road Race Series with a great Team of riders on and off the bike.”
As far as race goals, Keagan is ambitious but realistic “I am just going there to finish. This is just another piece in the comeback puzzle. That said, since my crash, I’ve become notorious for wanting to over achieve so the not-so-secret secondary goal is to finish with the bunch – or what remains of it! I’m not going in as a favourite rider nor as a supported one. There’s no pressure to perform, so I am going to just enjoy it.”
The Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic is Australia’s toughest one day cycling race and is an iconic event on the national cycling calendar. At 228km with 3382m of climbing, including the formidable 17km climb of the Gibraltar Range, it takes riders through the beautiful Clarence Valley and New England Highlands of northern NSW. It has been long regarded as one of the most prestigious races in the country and past winners and participants boasts many riders who have Olympic Games and Tour de France success.
For more information: http://www.graftontoinverell.com.au
Keagan Girdlestone is a 20 year old cyclist who was born in South Africa and resides in Christchurch, New Zealand. In 2016, while racing in his first season as a neo pro in Italy, he was nearly fatally injured when he collided with a car while racing in Italy.
Since then he has defied records, expectations and doctors orders to realise his dream of become a pro cyclist.