The 2017 edition of the Dangarsleigh Bianche, the now well-established first classic in the Armidale Cycling Club race calendar is now less than a month away. This year, in addition to a slight name change, we have omitted the brutal Forest D’Angersleigh sector on Dangars Falls Road, increasing the appeal for pure road racers and reducing the likelihood of punctures. We still have two challenging sections of white Tuscan gravel to contend with however, including the infamous Hors Category assault of Knobs Hill, guaranteed to shake things up before the race reaches its climax on the Piazza del Kingdom Hall.
This is a club race, open to anyone with a valid Cycling Australia road race licence and as always we welcome entries from other local clubs. With the UCI still undecided, we are unfortunately not able to allow bikes with disc brakes so sorry, no CX or MTB bikes (again). We will however be running the race as a handicap event and if you decide to enter on slightly older equipment, perhaps a Jock Bullen Special, our handicapper will take this and any cash or other bribes into consideration.
Last year was a true Northern Classic, with some incredible tough riding from Pete ‘Spartacus’ Harris who embarked on a solo chase for just about the entire race. ‘Lone Wolf’ Keller also rode hard and had the race in the bag before Dave Jenner wound things up to spoil the party on the final run-in and who could forget Bourkey, who proudly produced version 2 of his patented floating ‘double-rubber’ tyres which punctured early on just as in the previous year.
The race starts at the slightly earlier time of 3pm on Saturday 11th March, leaving from the usual Dangarsleigh Road location on the edge of town. From there riders race out on sealed roads to the 15km mark. They then track back around 3km, turn left into Black Lane for Sector 1, then back onto Dangarsleigh Rd for another 2.5km, then left again, this time into Knobs Rd and Sector 2 before finally emerging back onto Dangarsleigh Rd for the last 2km sprint home.
All up there is 32km of racing with two gravel sectors totaling 7km. The last of these (Knobs Hill) is a great spot for spectators if you want a first-hand view of the action. The race will be on whatever the weather – in the highly unlikely event of it raining on the day a bit of mud will only make things more exciting.
In case you need any further incentive to compete, there will be a “quite impressive” trophy created this year which we will retrospectively engrave with the prior winners (Harrison Munday 2015 and Dave Jenner 2016).
Finally, just as in the real Strade Bianche (which is on 4th March this year), a rider who successfully wins three titles will have a sector named after them – now that really is something worth racing for. So start working on those hand-cut tubulars in the shed along with the floating forks and suspended seatposts you know will give you an edge on the day and mark your calendars for the race that simply cannot be missed – the very unique Dangarsleigh Bianche – 3pm Saturday 11th March 2017.