After so many years where the green and gold stripes of the Australian road titles have been awarded in the Victorian regional city of Ballarat, change is on the horizon with AusCycling announcing on Monday that the Road National Championships will be held nearly 3,000km away in Perth instead.
What’s more, it’s not just the 2025 event that will be heading to Western Australia’s capital in January but the competition to claim a green and gold jersey will also run there right through to 2027.
“We’ve seen some epic battles in recent years,” said AusCycling CEO Marne Fechner in a statement. “Perth will now become part of cycling lore and we can’t wait to see what stories unfold over the coming years.”
Western Australia has been ever present in the consciousness of Australian cycling fans in recent years, and has been widely rumoured to be the next location of the championships for some time. It is home to many of the nation’s top performers on the world stage, from Jai Hindley to Sam Welsford. “I grew up training and racing on these roads and the opportunity to race for the prestigious green-and-gold jersey in front of friends and family is very special,” said Welsford, the recent winner of three Tour Down Under stages.
The event – which comprises of criteriums, time trials and a road race – will run in central Perth, including in the inner city Kings Park. It’s the first shift in venue in nearly two decades as the national title races were first held in Ballarat and its surrounds in 2002 and it had been running there for 19 consecutive years.
The city centre criterium and Buninyong road race circuit, with a race shaping climb had become a staple but the road race delivered a course that was not suited to pure climbers or, for that matter, pure sprinters either given its short but oft repeated ascent. That means that apart from the geographic change the shift to a different location could offer an opportunity to open up the race to a style of rider who has long been on the back foot in Buninyong. Course details, however, are yet to be revealed.
The racing in January of this year delivered a criterium win in the elite women’s and men’s race to Jayco-AlUla to Ruby Roseman-Gannon and Caleb Ewan, while Grace Brown (FDJ-Suez) took out the elite women’s time trial title and Luke Plapp (Jayco-AlUla) the men’s. Roseman-Gannon and Plapp also swept up the road race victories – with Plapp claiming the green and gold for his third year in a row.