Mid-week action returning to Cadel’s race

December 8, 2023 BY

The Elite Women riders will take on a course that passes along the Geelong Waterfront in next year's mid-week race. Photo: TIM DE WAELE/GETTY IMAGES

THE Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (CEGORR) has announced the return of its mid-week races in 2024, and in a new format.

Last held in 2020 as Race Torquay, the mid-week races will see teams compete across the Surf Coast and Geelong as the official precursor to the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

Next year, CEGORR will feature mid-week races for both men’s and women’s teams, held across separate days for the first time, which will extend the total length of the event to five days.

Starting the festivities on January 24, the Geelong Classic will follow a criterium format with the Elite Women set to race 25 laps of a 2km circuit around the Geelong Botanical Gardens and Waterfront.

The twilight race offers a small climb each lap that will make for dynamic and aggressive racing, and the circuit will offer multiple viewing locations for spectators to enjoy the action.

Held on the following day, the Surf Coast Classic will see the elite men’s teams race from Lorne to Torquay and has been granted a 1.1 classification under UCI sanctioning.

The course is a challenging 10km uphill climb from the Lorne start towards Dean Marsh townships across the 150km race, ensuring fast-paced and entertaining racing.

CEGORR director Scott Sunderland is excited about today’s (Friday, December 8) announcement to reintroduce mid-week races into the event.

“The mid-week races will be a perfect tune up for the teams and riders ahead of an action-packed weekend of cycling,” he said.

“Sure to be exiting and exhilarating, the Geelong Classic will offer just over an hour of relentless, aggressive street-style racing.

“The six percent gradient uphill over 250 metres in each lap offers ample opportunities for a solo victory. The sprinters will need to race intelligently to conserve their strength and speed to be in with a chance of race victory.

“Obtaining an impressive 1.1 classification from the UCI, the Surf Coast Classic offers an excellent opportunity for aspiring riders to earn highly coveted world ranking points.

“With an incredible and breathtaking view throughout the course, team tactics will not only focus on grabbing the victory, but also on winning the maximum points possible which is sure to make for a thrilling finish.”

Visit Victoria chief executive officer Brendan McClements said he welcomed further elite events for attendees to enjoy.

“These boosted events will provide even more reasons for visitors to extend their stay in the region and soak up the excitement of this elite major event,” McClements said.

“The mid-week races will challenge the best riders in the world while providing a glorious backdrop for spectators, showcasing Geelong and Surf Coast to riders and fans from across Victoria, interstate and the world.”

“We’re proud to support these events and it’s fantastic that men and women riders will be competing for equal prize money.”

2024 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race schedule:

  • Wednesday, January 24 – Geelong Classic (Women’s mid-week race)
  • Thursday, January 25 – Surf Coast Classic (Men’s mid-week race)
  • Friday, January 26 – GeelongPort Family Ride
  • Saturday, January 27 – TAC People’s Ride, Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race
  • Sunday 28 January 28 – Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race Elite Men’s Race

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