Long ride a matter of practise


Eddie Hollands
Eddie Hollands

RIDING up to 600km a week may seem daunting to most people but Eddie Hollands says like anything else, practise makes perfect.

The Joondanna resident is set to ride 140km for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Gran Fondo World Series qualifier race on March 13 in the hope of competing in Australia’s first UCI championship in September. The qualifying ride includes a road race where 1200 cyclists will start from Elizabeth Quay and ride as far as Mundaring before returning to the starting line.

Hollands, who owns a bike servicing business in the city, said he rode in competitions locally and had been riding 500-600km a week for the past month.

“We’ve had a qualifier here for six years but when the final comes in September that will be the first time which is why it’s so big and that’s why people want to get through the qualifier because they could become the world champion in their age group,” he said.

“The main aim is to qualify but being a rider, you’re going to want to win it.”

The top 25 per cent of riders in the road race will go through to the finals.

“The beauty of riding in the road race is you’re riding the same course you’ll be doing in the final and you can practice the ride on the bike paths but it’s not the same as being on the road,” Hollands said.

CIC Events Management race director Matt Poyner said he was excited to display Perth to the rest of the world and engage with former and future world champions.

“Quite simply, it is the amateur age group world championships for road cycling,” Poyner said.

“Two events are a road race and an individual time trial and the age categories start at 19-34, 35-39 and so on in five-year age gaps all the way to 70 plus for men and women.”

A former world masters champion himself, Poyner said entrants would include former Tour De France riders Patrick Jonker and Robbie McEwan as well as former motorbike champion Troy Bayliss.