Australia’s best cyclists to return to star-studded Federation University Road Nationals in Ballarat
A world-class cast of cyclists will thrill and delight fans at Australia’s national road titles in January.
Reigning champions Grace Brown, Luke Plapp and Ruby Roseman-Gannon are just a sample of the star-studded peloton that will return to Ballarat this summer for the 2023 Federation University Road National Championships.
Tour de France stage winner Ben O’Connor, three-time road race champion Amanda Spratt, and dual Vuelta stage winner Jay Vine are among the elite riders who have confirmed their participation.
The talent-packed field will also feature Simon Clarke, who won the Roubaix stage at this year’s Tour de France; Georgia Baker, the Commonwealth Games road race champion; and Sarah Roy, who conquered Buninyong in 2021.
Other top pros who will be in action are Brodie Chapman, Alexandra Manly, Rachel Neylan and Jessica Allen. The men’s peloton will include the likes of Luke Durbridge, Kelland O’Brien, Chris Harper and Chris Hamilton.
RoadNats will once again host the pinnacle of Australian para-cycling. Eight-time world champion Emily Petricola and fellow Paralympic medallists Carol Cooke, Darren Hicks, Paige Greco, David Nicholas and Alistair Donohoe will be joined by Stuart Jones, famous for his incredible sportsmanship at Tokyo 2020.
Fans will also get their first look at Australia’s young stars racing for their new professional teams. Neo-pros Maeve Plouffe (Team DSM), Jensen Plowright (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Cameron Scott (Bahrain-Victorious), Rudy Porter, Georgie Howe and Amber Pate (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Josie Talbot (Cofidis) will all ride in fresh 2023 colours for RoadNats.
The Federation University Road National Championships bring Australia’s best cyclists to historic Ballarat, Buninyong and surrounding areas in a battle for the green-and-gold national champions’ jerseys. The 2023 event will be contested from January 6–10.
In a shake-up from the past few editions, racing will begin on Friday afternoon with fast-paced criteriums on Sturt Street, in the heart of Ballarat.
The road races will take place in Buninyong on the weekend, including an extended Sunday schedule featuring Para-cycling, Elite & Under-23 Women, and Elite Men’s road races – all on one bumper day.
The cycling festival will conclude with two days of time trialling around the Mount Helen campus of Federation University Australia.
National titles will also be contested by cyclists in the deaf, transplant and intellectual impairment categories.
Ballarat has positioned itself as the home of cycling in Australia, and hosting the Road National Championships is part of the City of Ballarat’s events strategy to attract world-class athletes and visitors to this prestigious national cycling event.
With the event expected to attract over 15,000 visitors, the city will be abuzz over the five-day cycling festival. More than 15 hours of broadcasting will provide both domestic and international viewers the opportunity to tune in to watch Ballarat host the event.
Following the success of previous years, and to promote the launch of the event, the City of Ballarat is proud to return the Coffee Cup Art project. Four talented local artists: Jenna Oldaker, Roselle Harrison, Kirrily Urquhart and Jacinta Sullivan have designed a series of limited-edition artworks that have been printed onto biodegradable coffee cups. To celebrate the launch of the event, coffee cups will be available in hospitality venues across Ballarat this week.
Craig Bingham – Chair, AusCycling: “After an incredible year for Australian cycling, we’re excited to begin 2023 by welcoming so many of our best road riders back to Ballarat.
“On the start line we’ll have world champions, Commonwealth champions, elite-level professionals, plus emerging riders who are just beginning their careers.
“The racing here is always spectacular, and AusCycling is grateful for the support of our event partners for giving our cyclists the perfect stage on which to put on a show. Thank you to the City of Ballarat, Federation University Australia, and the Victorian State Government through Visit Victoria, without whom this event couldn’t happen.”
Cr Des Hudson – Mayor, City of Ballarat: “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Australia’s best cyclists back to Ballarat for what promises to be another sensational event.
“The Road Nationals is something Ballarat holds so close to its heart and cements our position as the home of road cycling in Australia.
“Whether it’s the criterium thrills on Sturt Street, or the endurance events in Mt Helen and Buninyong, or perhaps some of the mass participation events, there really is something for everybody.
“To host the event for 17 consecutive years shows just how valuable it is to us as a city.”
Professor Duncan Bentley – Vice-Chancellor and President, Federation University Australia: “The Federation University Road National Championships brings Australia’s best cyclists to Ballarat and surrounding areas as the opening event of the 2023 road cycling season. As Victoria’s leading regional university, we are proud to support this fantastic event again and look forward to hosting the time trial at our Mt Helen campus.
“Federation is recognised as one of the top 100 universities globally in the Sport Science discipline, and through collaboration with AusCycling, we are excited to share our world-class expertise in this field during the event for the benefit of students, athletes and the wider community.”
Scott McGrory OAM – Race Director: “Ever since the Road National Championships came to Ballarat, I have continued to be amazed by the growth of the event. Not just in terms of the infrastructure or the publicity reach, but also the level of prestige and stature with which it is held by the riders and the broader cycling community.
“This year we have the benefit of a non-pandemic-affected event which enables the return of many of our very best riders, including those that stood on Grand Tour and World Championship podiums in 2022.
“As the Race Director I’m in a privileged position to witness up close, the passion and commitment the riders display in each race. With so much at stake, it’s a joy to eventually see the riders’ smiling faces, beaming with pride, as they slide into the green-and-gold jersey of national champion.
“I wish to thank City of Ballarat for their ongoing support, and all our event partners. And to the riders, I wish them all the best of luck in their endeavour to be the best they can be.”
Lucas Plapp – 2022 Elite Men Road Race National Champion: “RoadNats now has a very special place in my heart and it’s one of the first things I pencil into a season calendar and work towards. It has been a year to remember, taking the green and gold to Europe and trying to showcase the jersey as best as I could.
“This year is sure to be one of the most star-stacked fields we have seen in some time with the majority of Australia’s best WorldTour riders returning, and also the high quality of riders that are coming out of the domestic scene and peaking for Nationals. We have seen a number of young Aussies turning pro after successful summers, and I look forward to seeing who stands out this year!”
Ruby Roseman-Gannon – 2022 Elite Women Criterium National Champion: “There is no other race in Australia that has the crowds, atmosphere and community enthusiasm that Ballarat’s RoadNats hosts every year. It’s an event that I'm always super motivated to train for and which gave me the opportunity to compete against Australia’s professional cyclists and gain the confidence to become one myself.”
For more information about the event, visit the RoadNats website.
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