Best spot for the road nationals? Try the median strip

YOU can hear the cowbells before you see them.

First the violent jingling of tin, next the drone of cyclists speeding down the track.

It’s that time of year again, Ballarat – welcome to the 2014 Cycling Australia Road National Championships Criterium.

Yesterday, Ararat mother Alison Burmester was shopping for school shoes in town when she heard about the event.

“We didn’t really plan on coming to the event, but we may as well stay now,” Ms Burmester said.

“There’s definitely a lot of people down here, a lot of foot traffic.”

Ms Burmester said she would be back next year.

Holidaying tourist Catherine Fuller and her family also stumbled across the event.

The family were travelling from Dubbo, New South Wales, and said they would stay an extra day to watch the event. 

“We were speaking to some locals yesterday and found out about the event,” Ms Fuller said. 

“So we decided to stay an extra day.” 

But the visit was a lot more deliberate for the Crome family.

Parents Terry and Lyn Crome came to cheer for their son Sam Crome, who competed in the men’s under 23 Criterium race.

“We’re from Bendigo. We travel down every year,” Ms Crome said.

It’s the third year the Crome family, along with son Nick and girlfriend Bree Lea, have attended.

“It’s such a great event. I have already done some retail shopping in town,” Ms Crome said.