The region rolled out the welcome mat for hundreds of cyclists at the weekend for rounds three and four of the National Cyclocross Series.
More than 400 competitors descended on Creswick for two competition-filled days at Hammond Park.
National champions from both men's and women's categories, as well as junior aged-group winners, faced-off against locals to maneuver bicycles over a two kilometre track.
Fine weather kept the mud at bay, but it didn't make it any less challenging for riders who encountered everything from hurdles and even a sandpit.
"Feedback was the course was very challenging which is what they liked," VOGA Cycling Club president Chris Chatham said.
"It was muddy without it being sloppy which was nice. A little bit more rain might have made things more challenging, but you can't fault having sunshine on race-day."
Three-time cyclocross champion Lisa Jacobs provided commentary at the event which saw 17 different age-catagories compete.
South Australia native Gary Millburn emerged victorious across both days in the men's elite division, followed by Ballarat rider Daniel Braunsteins who came in 10th.
Creswick's Xanthia Chatham achieved a podium finish in the under-17 women's division, while Dave Tennard came third in the Masters category.
It was a fitting result for Tennard who organised the first cyclocross race in Ballarat six years ago. Tennard said in the years since, the sport has enjoyed a rapid rise in popularity.
"It just started locally, then it started running state-level races, and this year was the first time a national series was held in the region," he said.
Described as a hybrid of mountain biking and road racing, Tennard said cyclocross originated in Europe as a way for road cyclists to stay fit in the winter time.
The sport utilises slightly thicker tyres than road bikes, and is a fun way to exercise in cold and wet weather. He said the sport has a big culture in Victoria.