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.

Ray and Helen Fraser enjoy the road nationals from the Sturt Street median strip. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Ray and Helen Fraser enjoy the road nationals from the Sturt Street median strip. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Makayla, Haylee  and Imogen Fuller at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Makayla, Haylee and Imogen Fuller at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Emma Goodwin, Jane Collyer and Phil Collyer at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Emma Goodwin, Jane Collyer and Phil Collyer at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Ethan and Leila Stegehuis with Nita Sharp at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Ethan and Leila Stegehuis with Nita Sharp at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Ray and Linda Martin at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Ray and Linda Martin at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Kate, Claire, Alison, Daniel and Ben Burmester at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Kate, Claire, Alison, Daniel and Ben Burmester at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Wendy and Chris Bolton at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Wendy and Chris Bolton at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Angus, Mark and Grace Mennen at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Angus, Mark and Grace Mennen at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Brad and Nicholas Eppingstall at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Brad and Nicholas Eppingstall at the Road National Championships Criterium. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Laura and Millie Collins with Rosemary Gay and Chelsea Collins-Herrmann at the road nationals. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Laura and Millie Collins with Rosemary Gay and Chelsea Collins-Herrmann at the road nationals. PICTURE: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

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.

kara.irving@fairfaxmedia.com.au