CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Cyclist Aaron Watts will be one of 251 riders tackling the Grafton to Inverell cycling classic tomorrow.
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Cyclist Aaron Watts will be one of 251 riders tackling the Grafton to Inverell cycling classic tomorrow. Adam Hourigan

Yamba cyclist on track for Grafton to Inverell Classic

A TOUGH lesson in pedalling through snow does not sound like the best preparation for a 228km race in 30-degree weather.

But that's exactly how Yamba cyclist Aaron Watts has prepared for tomorrow's Grafton to Inverell cycling classic.

Watts took on the Tour of Tasmania for the first time three weeks ago for the EDI Mining team, riding against the country's cream of the crop in the eight-day National Road Series event.

"Tassie was a great learning experience," Watts said.

"I had a few mixed results. My best result was 35th in one of the stages but we had a team time trial on the first day where our team finished sixth."

The Tour covered 650-700km, running from Hobart to Devonport via Launceston.

The 22-year-old said he took valuable experience home from the event, which he will be able to put into practice for the first time tomorrow.

While he will not necessarily need his snow cycling skills, his experience in Tasmania will no doubt pay dividends as he tackles his third Grafton to Inverell.

"If there was one thing I took away from Tassie it would be how to ride in bad weather," Watts said.

"Snow, wind and rain on most days. It toughens you up a bit but makes you appreciate the weather at home.

"Another thing was learning to race in big bunches. You don't get too much of that locally.

"You have to pay a lot more attention to the people around you."

Watts will be one of 251 riders tackling the 228km event tomorrow, with A grade leaving Grafton at 8am. The B and C grade riders will leave at 8.15am.



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