BA Publisher James Yaffa reflects on 2023 and takes a look to the year and cycling season ahead.
As 2023 draws to a close, it’s time to savour that sea breeze and relish another quintessential Australian summer holiday, hopefully on your bike exploring this magnificent country. Considering the troubling war scenes in the Middle East and Europe, we are reminded of just how fortunate we are here in Australia.
Like you, our team at Bicycling Australia and The Classics are anticipating a well-deserved break and eagerly look forward to meeting you in person at one of our Classic Events.
Looking ahead to 2024, here are our top 5 predictions:
Road E-bikes – Anticipate continued growth in this category, with lighter and more versatile bikes gaining market share. The popularity of e-bikes has surged, with well over 100,000 sold last year in Australia. E-road bikes, in particular, are a growing segment and increasingly popular on the BA website.
Santos – TDU’s long-standing naming rights partner is under fire from activists, as the move to potentially ban fossil fuel companies from sponsoring major sports gains momentum. The odd marriage between TDU and Santos might be heading toward a necessary reassessment. Let’s be honest, it’s a strained marriage and one I predict is heading for counselling.
TDU – This iconic event is ripe for a makeover, whether it’s the tired event village, the general public offerings, or the course format. Attracting top-tier European riders should be a priority, and transforming the event into more of a festival is crucial. Time will reveal if the organisers heed these calls, and questions persist about whether the TDU is held at the right time of the year.
Media – Cycling’s increased exposure in mainstream media, both positive and negative, is notable. The focus on cycling infrastructure, or the lack thereof, is gaining momentum. In 2024, BA will continue to advocate for change, as councils and governments recognise that improvements benefit everyone on the road, whether on a bike or in a car.
Cervelo and Jumbo Visma – After their dominant performance in all three Grand Tours in 2023, will they maintain this momentum in 2024? While it seems likely, a bit more competition and unexpected results, as witnessed in the ICC Cricket World Cup, would add much-needed excitement and a wild card aspect to the cycling scene.
Above all, the entire team at BA and the Classics wishes you a safe and joyous new year – and plenty of quality time on the bike.