GRUELLING TEST: Grafton-based cyclist Laurelea Moss at the start line of the Grafton to Inverell on the banks of the mighty Clarence River.
GRUELLING TEST: Grafton-based cyclist Laurelea Moss at the start line of the Grafton to Inverell on the banks of the mighty Clarence River. Contributed

CYCLING: Moss ready climb the rocks of Gibraltar Range

GRAFTON TO INVERELL: While Grafton-based cyclist Laurelea Moss loves a challenge.

And when it comes to cycling road races they do not come much tougher than the 228km Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic.

After coming off a successful start to 2016 indoors on the velodrome track Moss has turned her attention back to the road in the last month to get deep into preparations for today's gruelling road race.

It will be Moss' first ever Grafton to Inverell and while she is not completely sure what to expect, the Holden Women's Racing Team rider has a fair idea it will be the toughest test of her cycling career.

"I am really excited about it," Moss said. "I had heard about it from before I was even technically a cyclist in Brisbane and it has a reputation for being a really brutal race.

"There were these awesome cyclists I knew and they hadn't finished it from cramps and such.

"It has claimed a lot of avid cyclists in the past so I see it as a part of the rite of passage."

"So despite being well and truly under-prepared I am here with bells on."

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Moss has been in training in the Clarence Valley for the past month but said the velodrome work has put her under prepared for the 228km journey over the range.

"Track training doesn't make for great training for the range," she said.

"If you look at the race profile it looks like Mt Everest and if you look at every hard hill I have been training on it looks like a bump in comparison."

Moss while be among the female riders who will ride among the Inverell RSM Club C-Grade field with no less than 13 local riders.

"I am out there riding with a lot of the Grafton boys on a day to day basis so I will definitely look out for them," Moss said.

"We won't be attacking the hell out of each other on the road, I think we will support each other until I guess push comes to shove heading into Inverell."

While it is only her first classic Moss is eyeing off the C-Grade podium but knows it won't be easy.

"I would be happy with the middle of the podium, but I'd also be happy to just finish the race," she said.



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