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  • Lee Turner

    What a disgrace. It should be moved every 3 years if it wants to be a fair and true National Championship race.

    • velocite

      Why? Care to expand on that? Why does moving it about make it true or fair?

    • Mark

      You gonna pay for that?

      • Lee Turner

        I already do with my rip off $377 per year Cycling Australia membership.

        • Brendan Marshall

          exactly!! It’s a national sport FFS it should be moved around!!! I can’t afford to go to Ballarat every bloody year to watch it… how does anyone from QLD or WA ever get to go?

          • Sunny Ape

            Well, now that you know where it will be next year, everyone can book their flights now. Brisbane to Melbourne return mid Jan next year is about $270. What’s not to afford?

        • Mark

          Ok, well i think we can safely say that’s not covering it, maybe you should start a kickstarter campaign and raise the money?

          It always comes back to what is the most economically viable option, something the general Australian public seem to forget in general, not just in relation to this particular issue.

          Why should the financially unstable cycling Aus spend an extra ‘x’ hundred thousand just for the sake of moving the race? Yes it might be preferable but preferable don’t pay the bills.

          • Brendan Marshall

            other states run all sorts of festivals and events…. doesn’t seem that hard if another State Govt and local council/town would back it!

            • Problem is they don’t or won’t back it. Or at least they won’t offer as much as Ballarat/Victoria to do so.

              • Nathan

                I wonder how much leg work CA have done to find or attract a willing partner? Based on the general malaise the organisation seems to be in I can’t imagine they have made a great effort. CA need to stop going with the easy option , no matter how good it may be) and start working towards developing our sport…you know, like it says in the job description. Having one host for Nats has the potential of limiting growth rather than building it.

              • Brendan Marshall

                yes, I know, it’s bloody frustrating !!!! NSW run every other event/festival under the sun and spend millions/billions on them to attract visitors… difficult… could bring a lot of money to a country town not far from a major airport. Like the Gong, Central Coast, Newcastle… it can be done, just seems like nobody gives enough of a toss to make it happen.

            • JCJordan

              that’s the kicker. The Victorian and local government put in the $. Lets be honest can you ever see the race being held in NSW ever again considering how anti cycling the government is?

          • Spot on re: your last two paragraphs, Mark.

    • Pete

      It should never be moved. I’ve seen the Nationals on other courses and it’s rubbish – in both rider quality/effort and crowds. In the end the best rider on the day wins be it sprinter or allrounder. Only one climber has ever won on the circuit for those who think it favours climbers.

      • Brendan Marshall

        when was it not in ballarat? (or at least not in VIC) LOL… Course doesn’t exactly favour sprinters either though…

        • Marty Tobin

          Adelaide in 2005 – won by Robbie McEwan and 2006 Mt Torrens won by Will Walker

          • Brendan Marshall

            yes, and was in Vic for another 10 years or so before those 2 races…

          • Sean

            The number of spectators wasn’t much better than a race in the middle east.

            • Marty Tobin

              not big crowds at all in 2005/2006 I do remember a big crash after 4km that claimed many big names. It was also the game changer for Under 23’s getting their own race with 1st and 2nd across the line being Under 23. 3rd Russell Van Hout was the Elite National Champ.

        • Snake

          Stuart O’Grady won in 2003, he rode pretty well as a sprinter on the Ballarat course. And the year before, Robbie McEwen, same course again.

  • Callum Dwyer

    Bracksy should say ‘We love to have road nationals somewhere else, but we’re broke as.’

    • Andy Logan

      This is the crux of it, read between the lines. Ballarat offered the most money to us and hence we took it.

      • mittNYC

        No need to delve between the lines. Just read the lines themselves:

        “It’s always tempting to say ‘Well you could move it around the country and hopefully we get people bidding for these’, but this was the best deal,” Bracks said. “There was testing of other places in Australia — particularly in New South Wales — where we could have this, but no one could match the deal that we’re getting from [Victoria’s] major events corporation and from the City of Ballarat to keep it there.”

  • velocite

    Love it, will get onto booking accommodation up there right away. While I can see that the idea of moving the Nationals around the country is attractive, in practice there are surely negatives. The Buninyong course delivers an exciting race which demands good all round strength, and having the course challenge a constant seem to me to be a good thing. Well done Steve B.

  • Pete

    I think the big message here is, yet again, Victoria sees the value in cycling a whole lot more than NSW ever will. As someone who lives in NSW and feels Bathurst could stage a sensational National Championships, it’s a shame, but certainly no surprise. The good news is Ballarat does a great job and I’m sure they will continue to until at least 2020.

    • Lee Turner

      We’re not talking about the MCG here we’re talking about Ballarat. Why should Ballarat have a monopoly on the race? What about all the great circuits in Adelaide that the TDU is run on.? What about riders from Perth and QLD why should they have to travel each year and never get an opportunity in their home state? Why not run it on the Comms Games circuit next year?

      • Pete

        Are you replying to something I said Lee? I can’t tell what it is if you are.

        • Lee Turner

          Yes to your earlier comment that “it should never be moved”.

          • PeteJM

            Different Pete mate, I never said that. My only comment was the one at the top of this string, about Bathurst and NSW.

      • Cam

        Clearly Ballarat want it more than anyone else, are any other regions putting forward more compelling bids? The City of Ballarat should be acknowledged for seeing the economic development benefits in an event most councils would not have a passing interest in.

      • Gavin Adkins

        They’re running it on the 2030 Comm Games circuit!

      • As Bracksy said, in an ideal world it would be great to move it around each year, to give everyone a chance. But the reality is that no one else has got the money (or the inclination) to offer something more compelling than what City of Ballarat/Victorian Major Events can.

        • Lee Turner

          Lets not forget where Steve Bracks was born and raised.

          • Nick Squillari

            Most people spend their lives distancing themselves from Ballarat if they were born there and leave Lee.

  • BRK

    Mixed emotions. The Buninyong circuit makes for a great race and it’s well supported. But it would be awesome to see the Nationals somewhere else for a change.

  • Nick Squillari
  • Something to keep an eye on: With the Nationals starting on Wednesday January 3, what does that mean for the Bay Crits? They were cut from four days to three this year with the Road Nats starting on Jan 4. Will they be cut down to just two days in 2018?

    • Nick Squillari

      All four crits – back to back. Make it a 24hr spectacular.

      In fact….I might just trademark that idea…

      • My head hurts thinking of all the logistical challenges. ;)

        • DaveRides

          Not really. They could just ride from one to the next, like the transport stages in a rally :D

  • Ham_Hocker

    Typically weak decion from CA. Poor form Bracks, as a former State premier he is incredibly conflicted in making this decision. Boo CA.

  • Keir

    It would be great if there were a few different locations, maybe one in NSW, one in QLD and one in Vic so it was rotated if purely for interest sake for spectators. If nobody is prepared to stump up the cash it’s not going to go anywhere else though. Maybe lobbying your local regional councils through local cycling clubs could be a start to getting the nationals to come your way. At least now they’ve got a few years to begin the planning and saving of coin!

  • winkybiker

    Obviously, you can’t run races in NSW as the participants would be heavily fined for “furious riding”. All jokes aside, it seems a ludicrous proposition that the NSW state government would offer any sort of support for cycling, racing or otherwise. They’re doing their very best to have it banned altogether.

  • DaveRides

    I think it is disappointing that the big opportunity to piggyback on the Commonwealth Games next year has just sailed through to the keeper. Any multi-year contract should have an automatic exemption for a year where Australia is hosting major international events such as the Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games or UCI Road World Championships.

    Aside from 2018, I have no problem with Ballarat renewing it so long as the new contract requires the courses for the elite road races to not be the same in any two consecutive years. I’ve said that a number of times in the past in comments on here.

    I’ve also said a number of times that it’s never too early to start planning for what comes next when Ballarat decides to stop renewing, so that the appropriate plan can simply be pulled out of a filing cabinet when the time comes. I’ve proposed a merit-based system where one of the major races (i.e. men’s TT, U23 TT, women’s TT, men’s RR, U23 RR, women’s RR) would be picked out of a cycling cap at the start of the week and the following year’s hosting rights (along with a fixed payment from CA) going to the state which wins that race. The benefit of such a system for a sport such as cycling which needs to be careful with its cash is that locally-organised events are generally more efficient than national bureaucracies.


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