With the future of the Australian Road Championships under discussion once again, Buninyong put on a show for the cycling world.
Solo winner Jack Bobridge wowed the thousands at Warrenheip Street and on Mount Buninyong with his show of strength to win by an astounding three minutes seconds over Cameron Meyer and Pat Lane.
The earlier women’s race, on the Sunday for the first time, put on a great show and saw an excited crowd on the KOM point and about the same crowd at Warrenheip Street.
Orica-AIS rider Amanda Spratt took the women’s in duel with Ruth Corset.
Cycling Australia CEO Nick Green hailed Bobridge’s performance and said it was efforts like that kept people coming to Buninyong for the titles.
“We’re really pleased the people of Ballarat and all the interstate visitors get to see a great race. We’re absolutely delighted with everything happened around the event,” he said.
Mr Green brushed aside some athlete complaints over the titles staying at Buninyong because it limited the field of possible national title winners.
“This course is obviously a certain type of course and is suited to a certain types of riders, so not every rider is always pleased with it but many many are,” he said.
“It’s a terrific course...it (also) drives cyclists to this region when the event’s not here to want to test themselves all the athletes.”
Mark Renshaw, who did not finish the hot tough race along with 140 other riders, wrote on Twitter on Sunday morning that the national titles should be shared.
“Australian Road Race titles today in Buninyong (again) still hoping that (Cycling Australia) will move it to a different course for different riders,” he said.
Councillor Samantha McIntosh said the decision to move the women’s race to Sunday morning had paid off.
“The crowds built early. I hadn’t seen that number of people out watching the women’s road race before,” she said.
Cr McIntosh said there was a clear change in Ballarat’s culture after holding the nationals for a decade straight, with more people than every getting out and riding.
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