State racing returns (again) with Labour Day relaunch

State racing returns (again) with Labour Day relaunch


After a six-week pause to state open racing, a bumper field is expected to contest tomorrow's Erik Mather Cup at Eastern Creek.

215 nominations have already been received, with on-the-day entries expected to push the total towards the event record of 307.

The top Masters racers in Sydney and surrounds, will compete across six divisions for a prize pool exceeding $7,000. Using the fast, wide Sydney Motorsport Park track, the races will range in length from 40 minutes plus one lap to 75 minutes plus one lap.

Among those at the start line will be Manly Warringah’s Christopher Ball in Division 1, who only returned to the joys of racing last week after three months sidelined with a broken ankle.

“After the highs and lows of rehab, I could not wipe the smile off my face,” Ball wrote on social media after his first club race back.

Also racing for the Division 1 prize will be a host of well-known contenders from the local area, including Kevin Berkeley (Parramatta CC), Luke Cridland (St George CC), Jonathon Cridland (Southern Cross CC), Christopher Miller (Sydney Uni Velo Club) and Peter Milostic (Penrith CC). Looking slightly further afield, making the short drive down from the Hunter District will be world champion pursuiters Ben Neppl and Johnathan Millington.

Many of the state’s foremost Masters women racers will be in action, including 2019 Masters Roadwoman of the Year Renee Heinrich (Dulwich Hill BC) and state hill climb champion Katie Banerjee (Harlequin) in Division 4.

National WMAS1 road champion Bree Playel (Manly Warringah CC) will be in the mix in Division 3, along with fellow Sydneysiders Bridget Bremner (North Western Sydney CC) and Sarah Schneider (Peloton Sports).

The annual Waratah Masters Cycling Club event will offer excellent preparation for riders ahead of next weekend’s NSW Masters Road Championships in Singleton.

In August, sporting organisations were asked to cease inter-regional competition to minimise the spread of COVID-19. This restriction was lifted last week, opening the path for state open racing to resume.

In the interests of COVID safety, spectators are being asked to stay away in order to keep the number of attendees below the legal limit of 500.

Late entries will be taken on the day for $40, which includes a $5 late fee.