SEAN LAKE has become the first rider to win back-to-back Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classics, claiming the 228km race on Saturday with a solo effort to match his achievement last year.

While Jamie Drew won the iconic Grafton to Inverell in 1997 and 1999, Lake is the first cyclist to win consecutive editions of what is often labelled the hard-est one-day race in Australia.

The former rower broke away with 50km to go and maintained his lead on the Inverell descent to beat team-mate Cyrus Monk by more than four minutes.

"It's absolutely amazing," said an exuberant Lake, who has been cycling competitively for only two years, following his win.

"I love this race, and especially with my team-mates finishing second and fourth to get our best team result, I'm just stoked."

Lake's team-mate Monk collected the King of the Mountain jersey after his strong effort over the Gibraltar Range and also the Sprint King jersey to cap an impressive day for the African Wildlife Safaris team.



WEATHER: Thunderstorms, strong winds this afternoon

WEATHER: Thunderstorms, strong winds this afternoon

Rain and thunderstorms over the next few days.

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