The lead of multiple grades changed after the Collie-Donnybrook Return Cycle Classic and has also seen the overall standings become particularly close in the men’s and women’s a-grade category with less than 20 points separating some other grades.
The York Cycling Festival will be a three-stage event held over two days featuring an up-hill time trial, a road race and criterium around the streets of York.
It is expected to be a fine weekend with good weather and riders and their families will also have the opportunity to check out the York Agricultural Show on Saturday.
The York Cycling Festival will also see extra points towards the Element Road Series with the winner to potentially take home 300 points.
This could have major ramifications for the Element Road Series and could see riders jump up into a comfortable lead or riders in the mid-pack of the standings pushed into contention for the overall trophy.
One of the riders who is coming into the event with good form is Michael Freiberg.
Freiberg is coming off a win in the National Road Series victory on the weekend is arguably the most in-form rider as he also sits third on the current Element Road Series standings.
“Last week I was lucky enough to be racing the San Miranda Wines Tour of the king Valley, it was a great tour and I was able to take two wins in the criterium and the last road stage,” he said.
“IsoWhey brought a really strong team to this event and the team pulled together to score some really important NRS points.”
One of his main competitors is Bryce Lanigan. He is currently 10 points off Craig Wiggins who is leading the a-grade men series.
The 18-year-old has had a successful season to date taking out the under-19 Australian Criterium Championships, taking part in the Ring criterium series and racing with Satalyst Verve at the Tour of King Valley which was his first National Road Series event.
He said the fact the York Cycling Festival comprised of three different races, and with extra points up for grab in the Element Road Series, it will make for some interesting racing with each course suiting different styles of riding.
“I’m sure as always it will be important to take out a win given the way the points stack up in the series, but consistency will be key across all three events, and in fact for the rest of the series if I want to factor in the final stages,” he said.
“I think that with the set out of racing it is really important to be more of an all-round rider, and that is something that I would like to emulate at the up and coming York festival.”
Emily Mascaro is one of the favourites for the female race having come off her first season racing under 19s and representing Australia at the Commonwealth Youth Games in July.
She said it was going to be interesting to see how people back up from each of the three events.
“It will be exciting to see how the races pan out,” she said.
“I am excited for some good aggressive racing, as I have had a bit of a break a couple of weeks ago and just getting back into training again my legs are very keen to get going.
“It will be interesting to see how people back up over the three events, there maybe some tired legs after the crit on Sunday.”
Another top Perth rider Theo Yates will be hoping for a strong weekend.
He said he had a ripper season so far with his new team team Drapac Pats-Veg and had just come back from a five-week racing block in Belgium.
Yates said the top A-grade riders like Craig Wiggins and Bryce Lanigan don’t give up without a fight.
“This is an exciting challenge for everyone racing expanding the course range in WA racing,” he said.
“I’m looking to forward to getting stuck into the wide range of races in the rest of the series.”
The next event in the Element Road Series will be the Peel Classic – formally known as the Pinjarra Classic – on September 10.
Following that will be the Ferguson Valley Classic, which will run on September 23 in the South West.