First up cycle challenge a winner

Melissa Prowse and Peter Taylor, one of the first riders home from the 144km course.

THE Snowy Valleys Cycle Challenge will definitely be on again next year after the first was a hit on Sunday.

One hundred and thirteen riders took part in the event, put on by Tumut Rotary, and gave it a big thumbs-up.

The riders came from Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, the NSW South Coast, Hay, Nyngan, plus many from the Snowy Valleys area itself.

“I think we can call it a huge success,” Tumut Rotary president Cooryna Ackroyd said.

“We have had amazing feedback from all the riders. They found it challenging but not too challenging, and they are definitely coming back and bringing their friends.

“They loved the beauty of the area and said they were treated really well.”

Rider Greg Reynolds said it was a “great ride in beautiful country”.

The success of the event seemed in doubt in the lead up with registrations not as high as organisers hoped.

“In the last few days we had many people enter,” Ms Ackroyd said.

“People were in doubt because it was wet but it didn’t continue so we were very lucky in that regard.”

Tumut Rotary could not have done it all themselves and Ms Ackroyd expressed her gratitude to others that helped.

“We couldn’t have done it without the assistance of Batlow Rotary, Tumbarumba Rotary, all the volunteers and sponsors,” she said.

“They were incredibly generous with their time and money, especially for a first-time event. Without the other Rotary clubs I don’t think we could have handled it.”

The odd rider here and there had mechanical trouble with their bike but there were no accidents or mishaps.

It is definitely on again in 2020.

“We are going onwards and upwards and we are going to grow the event steadily,” Ms Ackroyd said.

Result-wise, for the 144km course the best time was Anthony Willis from Canberra with 5 hours 4 minutes, with times extending down to a Sydney rider who took a wrong turn and did an extra 11km, finishing in 9 hours 22 minutes (a liver transplant recipient from Sydney). The 72km best was 2 hours 46 minutes to 4 hours 53 minutes. The 26km best was a 16 year old who beat an electric bike home by 1 minute in an excellent time of 1 hour 4 minutes.