Neil van der Ploeg wins thrilling Grafton to Inverell Classic in record-breaking time

Neil van der Ploeg

Neil van der Ploeg

Border cyclist Neil van der Ploeg took out the 57th Grafton to Inverell Classic by less than a bike length on Sunday and smashed the race record in the process. 

The event is regarded as Australia’s hardest race, spanning a gruelling 228 kilometres. 

Van der Ploeg's finishing time of five hours, 46 minutes and 26 seconds destroyed the race record by 12 minutes, with the top 46 riders also finishing well within this time.  

Mathew Ross (Carnegie Caulfield CC) and Ayden Toovey (NSWIS) were just metres behind to make up the podium.

“At the end of the Grafton to Inverell, it is just a case of who has some legs in the final sprint,” Van der Ploeg said after the race.