UPDATED: 2023 looks set to be a huge year for Australian cycling with the return of major events and races plus many national and world stars of the sport heading back Down Under.
The action starts in Ballarat, Victoria with the National Road Titles being held from January 6–10.
Reigning champions Grace Brown, Luke Plapp and Ruby Roseman-Gannon head the star-studded peloton that will return to Ballarat this summer for the ’23 Federation University RoadNats.
Other big name riders including Giro winner Jai Hindley, Tour de France stage winner Ben O’Connor, three-time road race champion Amanda Spratt, and dual Vuelta stage winner Jay Vine have confirmed their RoadNats participation.
The field will also feature Simon Clarke, who won the Roubaix stage at the 2022 Tour de France, Georgia Baker – the Commonwealth Games road race champion, and Sarah Roy, who won in Buninyong in 2021. Several other big name riders are soon to be announced.
Other top pros who will be in action are Brodie Chapman, Alexandra Manly, Rachel Neylan and Jessica Allen. The men’s peloton will include the likes of Luke Durbridge, Kelland O’Brien, Chris Harper and Chris Hamilton. And Luke Plapp will return to Ballarat to defend his national title in 2023.
Neo-pros Maeve Plouffe (Team DSM), Jensen Plowright (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Cameron Scott (Bahrain-Victorious), Rudy Porter, Georgie Howe and Amber Pate (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Josie Talbot (Cofidis) will all ride in fresh 2023 colours for RoadNats.
RoadNats will once again host the pinnacle of Australian para-cycling. Eight-time world champion Emily Petricola and fellow Paralympic medallists Carol Cooke, Darren Hicks, Paige Greco, David Nicholas and Alistair Donohoe will be joined by Stuart Jones, famous for his incredible sportsmanship at Tokyo 2020.
Fans will also get their first look at Australia’s young stars racing for their new professional teams.
National titles will also be contested by cyclists in the deaf, transplant and intellectual impairment categories.
Friday Afternoon Crit Racing
With the event held between January 6–10, racing will begin on Friday afternoon with fast-paced criteriums on Sturt Street, in the heart of Ballarat.
The road races will take place in Buninyong on the weekend, including an extended Sunday schedule featuring Para-cycling, Elite & Under-23 Women, and Elite Men’s road races.
The cycling festival will conclude with two days of time trialling around the Mount Helen campus of Federation University Australia.
The five-day festival will begin with criteriums in Ballarat’s town centre.
All Eyes On Ballarat
Ballarat has positioned itself as the home of cycling in Australia, and hosting the Road National Championships is part of the City of Ballarat’s events strategy to attract world-class athletes and visitors to this prestigious national cycling event.
With the event expected to attract over 15,000 visitors, the city will be abuzz over the five-day cycling festival. More than 15 hours of broadcasting will provide both domestic and international viewers the opportunity to tune in to watch Ballarat host the event.
Race Director Scott McGrory OAM said ever since the Road National Championships came to Ballarat, he has continued to be amazed by the growth of the event.
“Not just in terms of the infrastructure or the publicity reach, but also the level of prestige and stature with which it is held by the riders and the broader cycling community.
“This year we have the benefit of a non-pandemic-affected event which enables the return of many of our very best riders, including those that stood on Grand Tour and World Championship podiums in 2022.
“As the Race Director I’m in a privileged position to witness up close, the passion and commitment the riders display in each race. With so much at stake, it’s a joy to eventually see the riders’ smiling faces, beaming with pride, as they slide into the green-and-gold jersey of national champion.
“I wish to thank City of Ballarat for their ongoing support, and all our event partners. And to the riders, I wish them all the best of luck in their endeavour to be the best they can be,” he concluded.
For the full schedule and list of events visit https://www.roadnationals.org.au/schedule/