Ipswich secures state event with concerning costs
APART from having to resolve some cost issues, Ipswich Cycling Club officials have plenty to get riders excited about.
Ipswich has been cleared to host the first major state competition as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
That is the opening stage of the Queensland Individual Trial Trial series at Middle Road, Purga on July 26.
Given track racing is yet to return, it is a major boost for club competitors from Ipswich and around the state.
"We are lucky enough to be able to run the first event (back) in Queensland,'' club president David Berlin said.
"We're building up to that.
"Everything seems to be coming into place apart from costs of running it and getting traffic control.''
Berlin said the club was dealing with the challenge.
"I'm quite amazed that it will cost $98 for one end of Middle Road, which is in the Boonah Shire, and because we had to book through the Ipswich City Council for the same traffic control group, the Ipswich end is about $800,'' he said.
Middle Road has long been used as a popular time trial and road racing course.
The loyal Ipswich rider and official was hopeful more reasonable charges could be negotiated to allow the city to stage a keenly awaited state race.
Time trialling is better suited under COVID-19 conditions because riders head off at one minute intervals, keeping a safer distance than track or road racing where clusters of competitors can engage.
"Cycling Queensland has suggested that, with the spray, you need almost a 15 metre gap between anybody riding to be COVID safe,'' Berlin said.
"For this event, you don't have competitors really close together.''
A number of the Ipswich club's leading riders are expected to be among the field of 200 entrants competing later this month.
As preparations for the state time trial are made, Berlin was also pleased to have club training also able to resume at Ipswich Cycle Park.
He said Council-approved junior training is scheduled from 5pm on Monday nights.
"We are very lucky in Ipswich that we have that cycling park out there (Raceview) to train and train safely,'' Berlin said.
"It doesn't compensate for hill work or real road work but it's a huge advantage to the city.''
Being back on the bike for competition will be welcome for many regulars who have confined to contesting the state E-Cycling series during the four-month shutdown.
As a retired teacher who played football at clubs like Norths, Laidley and Gatton, Berlin enjoys his official work these days.
He started cycling to ease arthritis from his earlier contact sport.
"Like all sports, it's good to be close to the action without having to go through the pain,'' the former Bulimba Cup rugby league player said.
"Cycling has a big following in the masters division.''
Queensland Cycling has released an updated road map of what the state body hopes will ensure a safe return to the sport following the latest state government decisions.
That includes approval for club racing to resume from Friday, seven days earlier than expected.
The main changes include a resumption of activity, including competition and community events under full racing conditions for time trials, criterium and road racing.
Events can cater for up to 499 people as long as organisers can safely adhere to the Outdoor Sports Industry Plan and COVID Safe checklist.
Social distancing, hygiene stations, education and training are to be implemented by cycling clubs focused on "come prepared, compete, get out''.