New era for Australian road cycling
Cycling Australia (CA) today confirmed a new agreement with Ballarat Regional Tourism to host the Road National Championships through to 2015 (with an option through to 2017).
The announcement also signals the end of an era with Cycling Australia's Commercial and Event team taking the reins from race promoter John Craven's Caribou Publishing to deliver our premier domestic calendar event.
"We are delighted to continue our association with the Ballarat which has been a major partner in the development of the road nationals over the past decade," said Cycling Australia CEO, Graham Fredericks
The championships were first staged in the region in 2002 and, with the exception of 2005 and 2006 when South Australia played host, have developed into the premier event on the local calendar and a highlight for thousands of fans who flock to the area each year to witness the world class cyclists in action.
"We are thrilled that our successful partnership with Cycling Australia will continue and that Ballarat will remain the home of the road nationals that has become an iconic event on the Australian sports calendar," said George Sosso, Director Ballarat Regional Tourism Authority.
"Cycling Australia would like to take this opportunity to congratulate John on the commitment and passion he has shown for the sport over more than three decades of race promotion," said Mr Fredericks. "He is one of the sport's true champions and I doubt there is an elite rider in Australia who has not raced in one or more of his events."
CA and Caribou have also reached agreement on a plan to ensure the legacy of Caribou's domestic events with five* of the company's events being organised by CA as part of the evolution of CA's major event strategy.
"These developments recognise the growth of the sport and aim to further build on cycling's increased profile to encourage more people to participate whether on a bike or as a supporter," said Mr Fredericks.
Mr Craven's experience and knowledge will not be lost to the sport however as he will remain a member of the Cycling Australia Road Commission.
"I am also pleased to announce that in recognition of John's tireless service to the sport, and in particular domestic racing, we will be introducing the 'John Craven Shield', a perpetual trophy to be awarded annually to the winning team of the Subaru National Road Series."
"Cycling has been a major part of my life for more than 40 years and during that time I have been privileged to witness some of the sport's most fierce battles and watched as talented youngsters developed into champions," said Mr Craven. "I am honoured to have my name on the shield presented to the champion team of the national series because I believe the series is the breeding ground of our future legends."
*The five Caribou events to be organised by Cycling Australia from 2013 are:
- Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland
- Tour of the Murray River
- Caterpillar Underground Mining Tour of Tasmania
- Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic
- Shipwreck Coast Classic