LONG-time John Woodman Memorial Wagga to Albury Cycling Classic competitor Greg Featonby has rated Sunday’s field as strong as any he’s seen since the race started.
Featonby said yesterday Avanti Racing Team and Search 2 Retain would bring crack line-ups to the Border for the 135-kilometre race.
“The quality of the scratch guys is as good as it’s been since day one in 1986,” Featonby said.
“Obviously we have had Olympic champions like Dean Woods compete but the scratch group coming here is as good as any going around today.
“It’s always hard to compare riders from different eras but this is a really strong group.
“It should be a fantastic race.”
The race has attracted big-names including Sam Crome, Anthony Giacoppo, Pat Shaw, Stuart Shaw , Mitchell Lovelock-Fay, Neil Van Der Ploeg and Tim Guy.
Crome posted the fastest time in last weekend’s Melbourne to Ballarat race.
New Zealanders Fraser Gough and Taylor Gunman will also be among the 113-strong field.
Last year’s Wodonga winner Ryan Allen will be back to defend his crown along with former champion Declan Gregory.
Featonby, Stephen Kilpatrick, Craig McMillan and Stephen Fairless are also expected to be prominent.
The women’s field is arguably the best assembled with track individual pursuit world champion Rebecca Wiasak the favourite.
Melbourne to Ballarat category winner and third overall place-getter Kendelle Hodges, former national individual time trial champion Felicity Wardlaw and former Border star Taryn Heather will also take beating.
Sophie Mackay and Alexandria Nicholls could be dark-horses.
The race starts at 10am from Wagga’s Jubilee Park and weaves its way through Mangoplah, Cookardinia, Morven, Culcairn, Walla and Jindera before finishing at Lavington Hall in Urana Road.
The leading riders expect to cross the line at 1.10pm.
The classic is named after one of the Border's best known and performed road cyclists, John Woodman, who passed away after a road accident while training in 1986.
Woodman took up cycling in 1970 and immediately made his mark, winning the under-16 championship.
He went on to dominate junior cycling on the Border region.
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