The Cycling Australia Road National Championships will transform into a festival of cycling as a jam-packed schedule lands in Ballarat in January.
Topping the list of exciting improvements is the elite cyclists’ criterium set to be raced under lights.
The under-19s have also been included into the schedule, which will see them begin their criterium at midday on Wednesday and act as a curtain-raiser to the elite cyclists in the evening.
Adding to the festival atmosphere in the removal of the usual rest day on Friday, allowing the momentum of the event to continue throughout the week.
Cycling Australia has also looked to provide Ballarat’s cycling community with some great opportunities. There will be a chance for riders of any age and ability to take part in the community ride and experience the criterium circuit the professionals ride on. While there is plans to involve local cycling clubs in some way and number of entertainment activities on the weekend.
Cycling Australia chief executive Nick Green said it was not just next year’s event it was working to develop, but the next three years, which it is committed to holding in Ballarat.
Green said it was an “evolution” of the Road Nationals.
“We’ve spent a couple of years now thinking about how we continue to improve the championships,” Green said.
It's an evolution of the nationals
“We want to evolve and continue to grow the championships. 2018 is one step of evolving and you’ll also see improvement in 2019 and 2020.
“It was important for us, when we’re there taking over your local streets and shops, there is some inconvenience – we do make sure that the event can contribute back to the community.”
The Road Nationals run January 3-7. Following Wednesday’s criterium, Thursday and Friday hold the time trials around Buninyong before the road races take place on the weekend.