Phoenix Cycling Collective have already broken new ground as Canberra’s only national cycling team featuring both men and women on their rider roster.
Published by The Canberra Times, 12 May 2017 : https://www.smh.com.au/sport/phoenix-cycling-collective-leading-the-charge-for-the-act-in-the-grafton-to-inverell-classic-20170512-gw3k41.html
But now they are looking to make more history at the 57th Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic, widely regarded as Australia’s toughest one day race, on Saturday.
Phoenix Cycling Collective will take its strongest ever line-up for the 228 kilometre event that ascends a staggering 3382 metres over northern New South Wales’ Great Dividing Range.
Making the trip for the first men’s national road series race of the year are the likes of Sam Hill, Craig Evers, Andrew McCosker, Nathan Booth, Kelsey Boreham, Will Barker and new recruit Toby Stewart.
The advent of Phoenix Cycling Collective’s women’s national road series and development teams last year launched a new home for women’s cycling in Canberra, and Brittany Lindores will turn out for the women’s team.
The women’s team’s debut on the local scene was celebrated in triumph when they took out their classification at the 2016 Tour de Femme, before arriving on the national scene at the Tour of East Gippsland in March.
Phoenix Cycling Collective manager Michelle Balaz is “over the top excited” about the year ahead as the team goes from strength to strength.
“It is fantastic to be able to offer equal national opportunities for both men and women in Canberra,” Balaz said.
“DS Scott Thompson has assembled a talented and balanced squad who will have all the support they need to succeed.”
The team is backed by the ACT government and a host of local businesses and it is hoped Phoenix Cycling Collective will foster the growth of women’s cycling in the region.
Two ACT riders have their names on the Grafton to Inverell winners list with Rob McLachlan (2006) following the path of 1995 winner Tim Christopher.