Ballarat secures RoadNats for another three years
In a coup for Ballarat, the city has scored the rights to host Cycling Australia's Road National Championships for the next three years.
First held in Ballarat in 2002, the RoadNats have been staged in the city every year since 2007.
This new deal will keep the most prestigious event on the Australian road cycling calendar in Ballarat until at least 2023.
Each year, the RoadNats are televised to a global audience of more than half a million people.
“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to continue this relationship with Cycling Australia and to facilitate the future growth of the program," City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Ben Taylor said.
Over the past four years, the number of RoadNats events has risen from 10 to over 40, with more partners and sponsors on board, increased participation, additional elite events, improved spectator viewing and a series of community events such as coffee rides and junior clinics.
“The RoadNats have evolved to be more inclusive with a vastly expanded event schedule,” Cr Taylor said.
The decision to move the time trial course through the Federation University grounds at Mt Helen this year was also seen as a positive move by both participants and spectators.
From 2021, the Victorian Junior and Masters Criterium Championships will be added the program, along with community rides, business competitions and a National Development Conference for cycling coaches and officials.
Cycling Australia CEO Steve Drake said the RoadNats were Australia's largest and most inclusive cycling race.
“We’ve crowned many amazing national champions in Ballarat over the years and the community has made a fantastic investment in this event. We can’t wait to celebrate the next three championships here,” Mr Drake said.