Bendigo has added another jewel in its cycling crown, with the regional centre to host the 2012 Victorian Open Road Championships.
In an official announcement at the city’s Town Hall today, it was revealed the prestigious state titles would be decided at the Bendigo Grand Prix, from November 9 – 11.
About 250 elite male and female cyclists from across Australia are expected to compete in the championships, which will feature six events in total.
Race director John Craven described Bendigo as the spiritual headquarters of Australian cycling.
“It has a rich cycling heritage, hosting the Bendigo International Madison and numerous stages of the Herald Sun Tour,” he said.
“It has produced numerous champion Australian cyclists, such as Frank McCaig, Rick McCaig, Brent McCaig, Colin Fitzgerald and London Olympic silver medallist Glenn O’Shea.
“It’s an ideal venue for this new concept.”
City of Greater Bendigo Director City Futures Stan Liacos said the area was delighted to host the major sporting event.
“It will continue to lift our profile as a growing, progressive and vibrant city,” he said.
“The continued attraction of major events to Bendigo is an important part of our economic development.
“This announcement comes on the back of the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity currently being staged at the Elmore Events Centre and the School Sport Australia Volleyball Championships commencing this weekend at the Bendigo Stadium.”
The three-day cycling extravaganza kicks off with a 24.6km women’s time trial and a 30km men’s time trial on Friday, November 9.
Both courses consist of a loop which starts and finishes in Emu Creek.
Saturday, November 10 will see the field vie for state honours in a road race – the blue-ribboned event of Victorian cycling.
Women will ride five laps of a Spring Gully course, covering 82.5kms total, while the men will cover 148.5kms (nine laps) in the picturesque urban area.
The Grand Prix culminates on Sunday, November 11 with the Victorian Criterium Championships, to be conducted in the Bendigo CBD.
Spectators will line the one-kilometre circuit, with the women to complete 30 laps while the men will complete 40.
At the conclusion of the event, male and female Bendigo Grand Prix champions will be crowned.
The overall champions will be decided on an accumulative points system, with the top-10 placegetters in each event to earn points across the three days.
Image of Bendigo's Town Hall