Riders enjoyed the sunshine and scenery as they participated in the Noosa Classic 160km, 120km or 45km cycling events.
Riders enjoyed the sunshine and scenery as they participated in the Noosa Classic 160km, 120km or 45km cycling events.

Classic the “best ever”

“BEST. Day. Ever.”

They were the words of David Keirle, a veteran of four Classics series events and proud finisher of the 2019 Noosa Classic.

More than 1400 riders took the region by storm to enjoy the quintessential Noosa weather of summer-like conditions and some of the nation’s best cycling.

And Noosa riders claimed two wins, with Tim De Vries taking out the men’s 120km category with a time of 3:21 hours, and Julia Emblin the female 120km with 3:44 hours.

“It was such a memorable day,” Keirl continued soon after completing the 120km Challenge-Classic.

“The weather couldn’t have been better, the organisation was second-to-none and the overall experience was right up there,” he said.

“I was in Clare for the Clare Classic, I’m going to Mudgee in May, and will definitely be back here in Noosa next year.”

More than a one-day Classic, the Noosa region oozed the atmosphere of a full-on cycling festival over the weekend as riders from around Australia and overseas honed in on the region for Bicycling Australia’s sixth major cycling event.

Showcasing the true international reach of the sport, there was a French and Colombian connection. Sebastien Pascal, more familiar with the roads of Bordeaux than South East Queensland, said it was well organised and a safe event “with a very good vibe”.

“The distances were very well picked, the atmosphere at the start was epic and I really enjoyed the food and goodies at the village afterwards,” he said.

“The volunteers were super cool. I’ll look back at the event as having joy, a good atmosphere and very good vibe. Now I want to improve my cycling and come back stronger next year.”

Still celebrating countryman Egan Bernal’s Tour de France victory, Colombian Carlos Pachon-Gomez described the 160km course as “the perfect mix” and joked that “race-by-race Colombians are taking over the cycling world.”

“The scenery was fantastic,” Carlos said.

“The toughest bit was at the beginning but I felt it got slightly easier towards the end. I still struggled but I really enjoyed it.”

Standing in the sunshine and scanning the scores of spent but smiling cyclists at the event village, Bicycling Australia Publisher James Yaffa — founder of the Classics series events — was a happy man.

“This is really how we wanted to represent the region, what we have here today,” he said, referring to the massive deluge that disrupted the 2018 event but didn’t dispirit riders.

“This is probably the most impressive cycling event we’ve put on,” he continued.

“I think the cyclists, the community, our commercial partners, our government partners … this is what we dreamt about — the Noosa Classic showcasing the Noosa region in all its glory,” he said.

“The rider feedback has been exceptional … we are here to stay and I think this will go on to be our biggest event.”

Commenting on the numbers of riders wearing Bowral Classic, Clare Classic and even a Mudgee Classic jersey, Mr Yaffa said he was thrilled to see the cross-pollination of events.

“That’s exactly what we set out to do,” he said.

“We want it to be a Classics journey. Bicycling Australia is the home of the Classics, we have put a lot of effort into this over the past four years and I think it’s fair to say we are here to stay and will continue to put on more great events for Australian cyclists.”

With the May 2020 Mudgee Classic recently announced, Mr Yaffa said further expansion was on the agenda.

“We would love to go to Victoria,” he said.

“As a brand we’ve put great investment into this. The Australian cycling community have embraced the concept and really adopted us.”

For Noosa Classic image galleries visit www.noosaclassic.com.au.

To register for the next Bicycling Australia event, the Bowral Classic in October, visit www.bowralclassic.com.au.

Noosa Classic 2019 Rider results

Winner — 160km: Male — Kevin Biffiger — 4:31hrs; Female — Deborah Hennessey — 4:35hrs

Winner — 120km: Male — Tim De Vries — 3:21hrs; Female — Julia Emblin — 3:44hrs

King / Queen of the Mountain: Male — Matt Hickey — 7:07mins; Female — Deborah Hennessey — 8:14mins