Australian fans have been missing the annual return of the Australian peloton for the AusCycling Road National Championships over the past two seasons, but with the borders open following the COVID-19-induced international racing hiatus, the Australian peloton is flocking back to Ballarat for the most fiercely contested title bouts in years.
The second sortie in the Australian summer of racing, which started with the Citroën Bay Crits, will play out in the Victorian city of Ballarat this week before WorldTour racers head off to Adelaide to the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
A whole new layer will be added to the already tough battles that played out in 2021 and 2022, when a handful of European-based professionals dotted the fields. A whole new raft of young riders have risen up through the ranks over the last few years and the women’s calendar and level of professionalism has reached a whole new level. But this year, riders like Amanda Spratt, Caleb Ewan, Michael Matthews, Chloe Hosking and Ben O’Connor are returning to the fray.
2023 AusCycling Road Championship facts
Dates: January 6-10, 2023
Location: Ballarat, Victoria
Races: Criterium, Road Race, Time Trial for elite men, elite women, U23 men
The racing will again play out in familiar territory in Ballarat and its surrounds with the repeated climb of Mount Buninyong road again a central feature of the road races. What has changed, however, is the order of events, with the time trials that usually open the competition now closing it.
Cyclingnews will again be on location to cover the event, with race reports, news and interviews
The first national titles will be awarded in central Ballarat, when the criteriums play out on a tight 1.1km course. Club crits will start early afternoon before the competition moves into the junior ranks and then the U23 men before the evening timeslot gives way first to the combined elite/U23 women’s race and finally the elite men. Although it is the middle of summer in the southern hemisphere nation, there has been some wild weather for competitors to contend with over the years as barricade blowing over summer storms have swept through, but at this stage it is looking like the riders will line up to fine and mild conditions in the city, which started as a gold rush town in the 1850’s.
- Start time: Friday January 6,…