The format of the Australian international racing season has faced challenges in recent seasons, the biggest of course being the COVID-19 cancellations, but now with the early-season racing block back for a second year. the evolution and improvement continues.
The Australian Road National Championships, the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race remain but there has been a shuffling of the deck when it comes to the themes, other events and timings. We can expect a fascinating few weeks of racing.
Sadly the Bay Crits, which began in 1989, have disappeared from the calendar and the Jayco Herald Sun Tour also is yet to make its return from the COVID-19 cancellations that started in 2021. However, there are some additions, with gravel on the agenda around the Tour Down Under and in February, while the mid-week racing is also back in the days before the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
There is also some new track racing, with Adelaide hosting the opening round of the UCI Track Nations Cup just five months before the Paris Olympics. Expect Filippo Ganna and others to stay on in Australia for February 2-4 track racing.
Cyclingnews will be on the ground to cover the Australian racing, from Ballarat to Adelaide and onto Geelong in the heat of the southern hemisphere summer.
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Last dance in Ballarat, for now
Australian Road National Championships, Ballarat
- Time trials from January 3 to 4
- Criteriums on January 5
- Road Races from January 6 to 7
The Australian Road National Championships have been held in Ballarat since 2002, with the climb of Mount Buninyong drawing an ever-growing crowd and establishing its place as a crucial component of the race that decides who will wear the green and gold striped jersey of the Australian road champion for the year.
“The enduring commitment from Ballarat and the challenging Buninyong course have ensured the event has global recognition, giving all our national champions instant credibility throughout the cycling community,” said race director Scott McGrory.
“It’s a privilege to have been the race director for so many years in Ballarat, and I’m confident 2024 will give us another fantastic edition…