Baxter hoping to cash in
MONDAY'S $2500 Grafton Cycle Club Yamba Criterium will be a welcome chance for professional cyclist Shaun Baxter to get back on the bike.
June is traditionally the quiet time of the year for pro riders, so Baxter, who rides for West Australian team OTOC Vault, is looking forward to the challenge and a chance to win some of the prizemoney on offer.
"I've had a couple of practice runs on the course, but it's the first time I've raced in the criterium," he said.
"The course is in the Yamba industrial estate and is just a big rectangle. It's a really fast course so it will be good for racing."
He said local cyclists Craig Evers and Aaron Watts, plus Reuben Donati, from Ballina will also be good chances for the A grade prizemoney.
"They're all strong riders," he said. "There's an elite group of six or seven riders who will all be going for the win."
Although the rivalry will be strong during the race, there's a novelty element which also appeals to the field.
"We've got the opportunity to go for a beer afterwards and have a chat about the race," Baxter said.
"With Yamba Shores Tavern sponsoring the event, we'll make sure we're back there to support the sponsor."
Baxter said he's coming into this race with some solid form behind him.
"I've just finished riding in two tours, at Toowoomba and in the Battle of the Border," he said.
"I did reasonably well in both of them. I was quite active in the race and was involved in a lot of attacks."
Although Baxter races for a WA team and competes in all the major Australian tours, he is based at Junction Hill.
"It's a good way to go. Grafton is a great place for training," he said.