The riders are ready to defend their turf and cover their club in glory with the first round of the Battle of the Bridge due to commence this Saturday at Randwick Botany, Heffron Park. 2016 was just a warm up, now the real battle begins and Northern Sydney will have to fight them on the flats, the hills and the sprints.

The expansion of the series into 2017 has introduced the additional Clubs of Central Coast and Eastern Suburbs. It is expected that these clubs will be put to the sword in their first year as their riders will struggle to realise the serious nature of this club racing.

In fact looking at the entry lists for the first round, Easts have minimal entries in all grades, they have obviously assumed that living in the Eastern Suburbs, everything in life will just be gifted to them. This isn’t the case when it comes to bike racing, you can hide from the tax man but you can’t hide on the wind exposed Heffron Park.

The first round is a SELL OUT. You read that right, a Saturday afternoon at Heffron Park is a sell out, days in advance. Who said club racing is dead. So if you don’t have an entry then come along and spectate because RBCC will be putting on a BBQ and beers post race.

There is a Womens ONLY grade at 2pm which is open to all clubs and riders as long as they have a race licence. This can be entered on the day. D Grade will also be run at 2pm and is open to all.

Many of you will have received an email from Cycling Australia/NSW about on board cameras last week, we are also advising that riders who have entered this round have also signed away their rights to their specific club and that all riders may find themselves temporary MWCC members if they race well and podium.

In A Grade, we see a very well drilled Northern Sydney team being lead by Michael Potter and perhaps given the terrain Matthew Osborne. Because having a rider like Angus Calder in the team for Heffron Park is simply to work out which way the wind is blowing.  They will be competing with a very strong turn out from SUVelo who will be hoping for a Jesse Coyle and Chris Miller long range attack, which plays into the MWCC hands because MWCC can claim Miller as MWCC Alumni and Coyle as a MWCC Mobius rider. So happy for them to go up the road – cheers fellas.

B Grade is a HUGE field, the start line will look like a Donald Trump Inauguration photo – biggest ever. The weight of the Eastern Suburbs Glitterati will be on Darragh Larkin‘s shoulders to at least salvage something from the day. The NSCC handicappers have been very generous to strong man Simon Davies, who perhaps was a little offended when told by the selectors he was in B Grade, given the last time he rode Club B Grade was 1982.

It is great to see that we have so many French Generals in B Grade who will be directing the charge from mid pack with President Archie Wilson of NSCC and Vice President Dave Jackson of RBCC post present within B Grade.

The C Grade is another large field, that we will be encouraging to stick to one side of the course when passed by A and B Grades, because we don’t want 30 ambulances coming to the race. This is a relatively even field, but of course given their lack of victories in last years series, Randwick Botany have stacked the field in C Grade with a very large presence. I like the game plan, pick the low hanging fruit, try and gain some self respect and find yourselves a podium place.

Battle of the Bridge Grades A-C racing starts 3pm.

Womens and D grade at 2pm – Riders can enter on the day.

Heffron Park, Maroubra.

Let the games begin.