Sunday May 25 saw the 7th running of the Avanti Classic road race. This one of the prestige races on the Queensland racing calender attracting over 200 riders from far and wide including New Zealand. It is run under handicap conditions with the elite scratch bunch giving away over 30min to the front markers. The pace is always high with everyone in with a chance of taking out the $2000 cash for first place.
The race is held on a 40km circuit starting and finishing at Lowood, an hours drive, west of Brisbane. It was a perfect day with little wind which saw the front markers hold their ground and come around to take out the money on offer for the first lap. At this stage scratch had only picked up 10min of the 30 they were chasing which didn't look good for their chances of taking out the major prizes as they had done in the two previous editions of the race.
Coming into the final few kilometers a group of 15 had established a handy lead and from that the attacks came fast and furious with Andrew Wilcher soloing off the front to take an easy win making the photofinish unnecessary. Fifteen seconds later Nikolai Wyman and Brendon Taylor sprinted it out to see who would take the $1000 up for second place. Darren Condon led home the "chopping block" bunch a couple of minutes later on only 46sec slower than the scratch bunch.
Last years winner Grant Irwin led home the scratch bunch a little outside last years record time. They had a hard ride with only their bunch for the whole 80km unlike last year when they were an unstoppable force as they went through the field.
Overall another top race well run with a top team of officials and volunteers. A big thanks to all involved especially Jim Philp and Wendy Pilbeam who spent many hours coordinating the event.