Packed: The Criterium program is set for Friday, 10 January on Sturt Street. Photos: FILE

Cycling to unite community on and off-road

January 9, 2020 BY

BALLARAT’S RoadNats program will get more than just elite cyclists on the road or involved in activities.

With free events planned for people on and off wheels as part of the Road Nationals Community Schedule, like the Ballarat Coffee Ride, the Buninyong Sprint foot race, Buninyong Community Night and Ballarat Champions Ride, young and old will be entertained, even if they’re not always watching the national action.

The RoadNats not only offer a positive context for locals to mix. City of Ballarat mayor, Cr Ben Taylor said they encourage “repeat visitation” from people based outside of the regional centre.

Crowds lined Sturt Street in for the RoadNats Criterium program in early 2019.

Millions watch, whether on the ground, on television or via streaming services.

“This major event continues to build Ballarat’s reputation as a cycle friendly destination,” he said. “The City of Ballarat has established a strong working group with businesses and community representative from Buninyong to improve community inclusion and benefits to Buninyong residents.”

With that inclusivity in mind, Ballarat Sebastopol Cycling Club is looking forward to fitting their Ballarat Coffee Ride in on Friday morning, 10 January, before the elite athletes take hold of Sturt Street for the Criterium races.

Heading off from the Golden City Hotel on Sturt Street at 6.15am, anyone is welcome to join in the 37km Serenity Loop around town before heading back to the hotel for a $10 brekky at about 7.45am.

BSCC president, Tim Canny was approached by GTR Events who are running the RoadNats on behalf of Cycling Australia.

“I was happy to be involved because I’d like the city, and our club, to embrace the fact that we’ve got the nationals,” he said. “I’d like to see everyone connect to it and ideally, encourage not only our members but the Ballarat community in general to embrace and get involved with a very exciting event for the city.”

The ride will head out to Brown Hill via Humffray Street, through Glen Park, Invermay, Mount Rowan and finish with a lap of Lake Wendouree.

Mr Canny hopes to see lots of new faces, not just experienced riders.

“It’d be nice to see a lot of people there, not only avid cyclists, but just general community members,” he said.

“It’s not a really tough ride and we’re open to all abilities, so hopefully we see kids doing it. You don’t have to do the lap of the lake at the end… you can shorten it.”

For further information about these events in the RoadNats Community Schedule, visit roadnationals.org.au/community.

 

2020 RoadNats – what’s on and where

 

Time trials, Thursday, 9 January, Chancellor Drive, Federation University, Mount Helen.

Para athletes, from 9am.

Club Teams, 11am.

Schools Teams, from 1.15pm.

 

Criterium, Friday, 10 January, Sturt Street, Ballarat.

Fixed gear, 12pm.

National Team Crit Wave 1, 12.35pm.

National Team Crit Wave 2, 1.05pm.

National Team Crit Wave 3, 1.35pm.

U19 Men, 2.05pm.

U19 Women, 2.45pm.

U23 Men, 3.55pm.

Elite Men, 5pm.

U23 & Elite Women, 6.25pm.

 

Road Race, Saturday, 11 January, Warrenheip Street, Buninyong.

Para-cycling, starting between 8am and 8.10am.

Intellectually Impaired, 8.06am.

U19 Women, 10.10am.

U19 Men, 10.20am.

U23 Men, 1.35pm.

Gran Fondo National Championships, 5pm.

 

Road Race, Sunday, 12 January, Warrenheip Street, Buninyong.

U23 & Elite Women, 8.50am.

Elite Men, 12.30pm.