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by Shane Stokes
November 21, 2017
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A modified version of the divisive Mt. Buninyong circuit will be used for the road races at the 2018 FedUni Road National Championships, Cycling Australia revealed on Monday.
At a press conference in Ballarat, Victoria, the national body unveiled a 11.6km course that is near identical to the 10.2km course that has been used in 14 of the past 16 editions of the Australian Road National Championships. Where the traditional circuit would feature the descent of Fisken Rd in the closing kilometres, the new circuit takes the riders through the grounds of Federation University — the event’s title sponsor from 2018 to 2020.
The extended circuit distance means that each road race will comprise fewer laps (and therefore fewer ascents of Mt. Buninyong) than in previous years. The U23 men will compete 12 laps for a total of 139.2km (vs 13 laps/132km), the elite and U23 women will complete nine laps for a total of 104.4km (10/102km), and the elite men will complete 16 laps for a total of 185.6km (18/183.km).
The U19 women and U19 men, new additions to the Road Nationals carnival for 2018, will race six laps (69.6km) and nine laps (104.4km) of the course respectively.
Perhaps most interesting is the nature of the new section of the course through Federation University. Where the traditional circuit features a fast, flowing descent on Fisken Road, the new section is considerably more technical. Indeed, with three tight corners in the space of 300 metres, the new route could potentially change the dynamic of each race’s final kilometres.
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