THE Blayney to Bathurst is entering uncharted territory in 2012.
The event is expected to see a record number of participants hit the roads of the Central West tomorrow, with as many as 2,500 riders from across Australia set to take part in the 70 kilometre, 110 kilometre and the new, longer and tougher 165km course.
Twenty OCC members will go head-to-head with Sunday’s long course events, with 13 members set to race in the longest form, the 165km Blayney to Bathurst race.
For one member of the OCC group, it’ll be particularly tough.
Janet Martin is just one of five women competing in the 165km event.
Overall there are 276 competitors, but in general it seems the women have been less inclined to take on the event’s toughest ride.
For Martin, though, the test was too good to knock back.
“I thought it would be a good hit out for me. I’ve got a couple of races coming up. I thought I may as well give it a crack,” Martin said.
OCC member Andrew Foxall said the course would be a tough one.
“It’s undulating all the way up to Rockley,” Foxall said.
“There’s a fair climb just outside of Rockley then it’s all down hill to the finish line at Mount Panorama.”
Foxall said he too was looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s uncharted territory,” he said.
“We haven’t really ridden it before. Last year the magic number was three hours. With out average speed it’ll probably be more like four and a half this year. Guys like Mick Troy, they’ll probably do it in four.”
Today, the Blayney to Bathurst will see the National Hill Climb Championships take place at Mount Panorama as well as the Bathurst Criterium run.
Foxall, Charlie Gascoyne and Mick Troy will compete in the criterium event with Janet and Steve Martin set to tackle the Hill Climb Championships.
The main event, the 165km race will start at 8.30am tomorrow morning.