2015 Australian Road National Championships Schedule Announced!

Peloton Cafe || 2015 Australian National Road Championships launch

Peloton Cafe || 2015 Australian National Road Championships launch (image copyright Cycling Australia)

The 2015 Australian Road National Championships will begin with a bang in the heart of Ballarat, on Wednesday 7 January, with the twilight criterium to be followed by live music. And a new course, starting and finishing in Buninyong, will test the field in the individual time trial, on Thursday 8 January. There isn?t a flat stretch of road on the course and the turn-around point is in the shadows of a wind farm, which will ensure tough conditions.? While the weekend?s road races will feature Cadel Evans – in the third last race of his career – trying to go one better than 2014 when he was second to Simon Gerrans, who is hungry to defend his title. Cycling Australia CEO, Nick Green, said the change in the schedule aims to get the championships off to a big start and continue to raise the standard of the event. ?Part of what has raised the prestige of this event has been the significant contribution made by Ballarat Regional Tourism and the City of Ballarat,? Green said. ?When Robbie McEwen won on the Mt Buninyong course in 2002 the crowd could be counted in its hundreds. ?Earlier this year when we saw Simon Gerrans, Cadel Evans and Richie Porte on the final podium the crowd was estimated at 25,000, and the race was watched live on television by many more around the country. ?And we?re delighted that Mars, which is a significant part of the Ballarat community, continues as the naming rights sponsor of the event.? Rohan Dennis (BMC), who finished fifth in the individual time trial at the 2014 UCI Road World Championships, is anxiously looking forward to the new time trial course. ?With my track record of the last two years I haven?t had the best of luck in January, so I?m a little reserved in saying I?d be the one to beat,? Dennis said, ?but for me the time trial is the most important.? The elite men?s road race and time trial has been won by an Orica-GreenEDGE rider for the past three editions. Dennis and his BMC teammates are out to end their run of success. ?The road race will be Orica-GreenEDGE versus everyone else,? he said. ?We?ll have a good team, with Cadel (Evans) and Campbell (Flakemore). I?ll talk to Cadel about the tactics and I?d be happy to lay it on the line for him. ?We?ll have to take a gamble and stick to our guns while they?ve got a lot more cards to paly.? Dennis labeled Simon Gerrans (who ended 2014 in third place in the world rankings) as the one to beat with his Orica-GreenEDGE teammate Simon Clarke, Sky?s Richie Porte and Cadel Evans among the other big favourites. The road races will see both Gracie Elvin and Simon Gerrans aiming for their third titles. ?Having won two in row is pretty awesome and three in a row would be even better,? Elvin said. ?I?m always proud to line up with the green and gold jersey internationally and sit on the start line alongside the other national champions. ?It?s very special to wear the jersey. I don?t want to swap it. I quite like the stripes. It?s my jersey.? Elvin knows that her and her teammates will be heavily marked during the race. ?There?s pressure on the team (Orica-AIS) as the biggest team in Australia, to prove we?re worthy of being in the team and showing how strong we are,? she says. ?But the level of racing in the (Subaru) National Road Series has risen again this year and winning it again won?t be easy. ?Ruth Corset (National Road Series winner and former Australian champion) is one of the stalwarts of Australian cycling who is almost unbeatable in a lot of areas. She can sprint, climb and time trial. She?ll be one to watch. ?In our team we?ve got Lizzie Williams. She?s really stepped up and could match Ruth in a lot of areas and will definitely be a contender.? Elvin says she?ll probably ride the criterium but skip the time trial to focus on the road race. In the women?s individual time trial she says her new teammate, Katrin Garfoot, is the one to beat. ? While there are new challenges and new contenders, Mars continues with its strong support of the event. ?MARS are delighted to continue their support of Australian cycling and Ballarat community through the naming rights sponsorship of the 2015 Australian Road Racing National,? said?Matt Graham ? Marketing Director ? Mars Chocolate Australia.?? “This is our seventh?year partnering with Cycling Australia, giving us another great opportunity to reinforce Mars? active lifestyle positioning and celebrate our proud Ballarat heritage. The Nationals continue to get bigger and better every year and we know 2015 is going to be the best one yet.?? The Mars Road Nationals culminate on Sunday 11 January, with the elite men?s road race, but the start time is yet to be confirmed as Cycling Australia continues in advanced discussions with multiple television broadcasters partners. ?To maximize the viewing numbers for this race, and across the whole season, we need to lock in the best television deal we can,? Cycling Australia?s CEO, Nick Green, said. ?And part of that could include having the race start a little earlier than in previous years to fit in with the television networks programming schedule.? Text via Cycling Australia media release
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