Top cycling in Burnett
THE cream of the Queensland cycling crop put their pedalling power to the test when they visited the South Burnett at the weekend.
The state's top cyclists took to the region's roads for Round 4 of the Queensland Road Teams Series.
The weekend's round was split over two stages with riders completing the Maidenwell and the Bunya Mountains foothills course on Saturday before testing themselves on the long Kingaroy course on Sunday.
Maidenwell's stage consisted of three laps of a 37km circuit of the Bunya foothills through Brooklands and Tarong, finishing at Maidenwell.
Kingaroy's stage was the longest of the Queensland series so far, consisting of a gruelling four laps of a 36km circuit throughout the northern part of the town.
Brisbane's James Hepburn powered home to win the Kingaroy stage and was relieved to conquer the challenging road course.
"It was a really tough day and the stage was tough because of the hills and the wind," he said.
Hepburn said it was a challenging race, especially with teammate Jordan Kerby in the leader's jersey.
"With Jordan in the leader's jersey we had to protect him and he was our priority," he said.
The stage winner broke away from the field with 15km to go to claim the victory.
Hepburn said he and his fellow riders were pleased with the demanding Kingaroy stage.
"Everyone was really happy with the circuit and it's one of the most challenging we've done this season."
Queensland Road Teams Series commentator Luke Lucas identified the reasons the series returned to the region after hosting last year's event.
"Event organisers know this region and they are familiar with the areas as there is a big history of cycling in the region," he said.
Cycling Queensland president Mike Victor said the South Burnett was a great region to host the latest round of the Queensland Road Teams Series.
"With this sort of event it's the traditional road cycling race which is made up of climbs and intermediate sprints.
"Maidenwell has really good climbs and the sort of terrain in the region is ideal," Victor said.
"The topography of the course is good as well.
"Eventually I can see a national event here if we get good sponsorship support."
Victor praised the efforts of the South Burnett region in helping to make the latest round of the series such a success.
"The region has been excellent hosts.
"The co-operation has been excellent with the SES, police and the local council," Victor said.
"I'd sincerely like to thank them for the help they've given our cyclists."