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For one week every year Ballarat becomes the epicentre for the who’s who of Australian cycling.
Each year in January the small town of Buninyong just outside of Ballarat plays host to the Australian Road National Championships, showcasing our elite home grown talent. 2016 celebrates the championship's tenth year on the challenging Mt. Buninyong circuit.
Riders from different categories – junior men, junior women, under 23 men, under 23 women, elite women and elite men – battle it out to earn the right to race wearing coveted green and gold jersey for the next 12 months. For the first time recreational riders will also be able to test themselves on the Mt. Buninyong course thanks to the inaugural Mars Australia Gran Fondo Championships.
The community of Ballarat puts on an outstanding event that sees supporters from far and wide converge on the cycling-loving town.
The main street in Ballarat is shut down for the criterium race, highlighting the local passion for the event. And the final climb of the Buninyong course is as close as you will get to a Grand Tour type of experience without actually being there.
We caught up with a few locals, racers and fans to get their perspective on this must-see annual cycling festival.
A sincere thanks goes to the following for helping make this Destination series such a success:
Ballarat Regional Tourism – especially Lou and Gen for all their great advice
Ballarat-Sebastapol Cycling Club – especially Jenni, Liam, Nick and Tim and Karen for their local knowledge and good riding legs!
Rapha – for some sweet jerseys
Specialized – for some equally sweet kit and the opportunity to take the Specialized Roubaix out for many spins