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The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race weekend will start in the seaside town of Torquay in 2020 after a three-year stint at Melbourne’s Albert Park.
The Towards Zero Race Melbourne criterium will become Towards Zero Race Torquay and, like Race Melbourne, the new event will take place on the Thursday before the women’s and men’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
Starting and finishing in Torquay, a popular holiday destination 25km south of Geelong on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, Race Torquay will feature rolling roads west of the town. The tough terrain and unpredictable wind conditions are likely to offer more exciting racing than did the pan-flat Albert Park Formula 1 track that has hosted the event from 2017.
Moving the event to the Surf Coast should also simplify things for riders and team staff. Cadel’s Race itself is based in Geelong and riders in that race tend to stay in Torquay in the lead-up. Coming up to Melbourne for Race Melbourne — the best part of 100km each way — was a hassle.
“We’re delighted to add Race Torquay to our major events calendar and we can’t wait to see the Surf Coast showcased to a global audience,” said Rose Hodge, Council Mayor of the Surf Coast Shire. “As proud supporters of women’s sport, we’re especially excited that Race Torquay will offer equal prizemoney in the men’s and women’s events.”
The exact nature of the course has not been revealed, nor has the format for the racing.
Towards Zero Race Torquay will take place on Thursday January 30, 2020, followed two days later by the women’s Cadel’s Race. The men’s WorldTour race will be held on the Sunday.