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by Shane Stokes
June 22, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Démare sprints to victory in Halle Ingooigem; Dumoulin wins third Dutch national TT title; Skujins returns from California injury with second in Latvian time trial championship; Martin and Kristoff head Katusha-Alpecin Tour de France lineup; Sagan and Majka’s Bora-hansgrohe teammates confirmed for Tour de France; Team Sunweb confirms riders to compete in Tour de France alongside Michael Matthews; Pro panel suggesting course changes for 2018 Australian national road championships; Tour de Pologne reduces team sizes; Cyrus Monk earns Cannondale-Drapac stagiaire position; Dyball secures stagiaire slot with French pro team; Video: A message from David Lappartient, UCI Presidential candidate
A professional panel including 2016 Paris-Roubaix winner Mat Hayman and dual national criterium champion Kimberley Wells have collaborated to modify the Ballarat course used in recent Australian national championships. The goal is to maintain the atmosphere of the event but also to consider changes which could lead to more tactical racing.
Joining Hayman and Wells are 2010 Subaru National Road Series champion Pat Shaw, Wiggle-High5 and former Australian national women’s team director Donna Rae-Szalinski and Kipp Kaufmann, Cycling Australia’s general manager of sport.
“While there are obvious constraints to where the nationals can be run, and while the course is a great championship course, I think it’s good to explore more options,” said Hayman, a two-time top-10 finisher. “Traditionally a championship is run on a variety of terrains and courses making sure that all types of riders have a chance to be crowned champion and wear that very special jersey.
“In recent years, there has been a tremendous atmosphere created by the fans on the Buninyong climb which is equal to anything you will find racing in Europe. I think that we have a fantastic course, one that has produced exciting racing and deserving winners across all grades.”
Rae-Szalinski explained why tweaks could lead to a fairer and better race. “I think that the existing Buninyong course is a very good one, it has so many good things, amazing for spectators, and is a challenging course for the riders,” she said. “And at our nationals, it really feels like you are in Europe, so we don’t want to do anything that will diminish that. However, we want to ensure that all of our riders have the opportunity to win their national title. So we have looked at ways to create a more tactical race, one that is more challenging to all of our riders.”
Click through to read more at Cycling Australia