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by Mark Zalewski
November 26, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Top race organisers reduce team and peloton sizes in Grand Tours, Classics and other events; Provisional Australian NRS calendar released for 2017: Four races added, two return; UCI officially issues WorldTour, ProContinental licenses; WADA publishes 2015 testing report; WADA suspends Mexico City lab; Russian Paralympic Committee given long list of rules for reinstatement by IPC; CANYON//SRAM announces 2017 roster; An Post-ChainReaction solidifies roster; Former NFTO team loses title sponsor, in jeopardy of closing; Former pro found guilty after race crash caused rider death; Death of British cyclist who fell off cliff in Pyrenees ruled accidental; Cyclist breaks Billie Fleming’s 77-year-old record; Best of the 2016 UCI Women’s WorldTour.
After the most challenging year in the short history of Australia’s National Road Series (NRS), the domestic racing competition appears to be on track for a stronger season in 2017.
In 2016, a total of five events slipped off the combined men’s and women’s NRS calendar, slashing the number of race days available and compounding concerns about the health of the series. Today, Cycling Australia has released its provisional calendar for the 2017 NRS season, revealing the addition of several new races and the return of several older events.
Assuming all races take place as currently planned, the 2017 NRS will comprise a total of 58 race days — 33 for men and 25 for women. This is a notable increase on the 42 race days that made up the 2016 NRS (23 for men; 19 for women) and puts the 2017 series on similar footing to the 2015 edition which saw a combined 61 days of racing (35 for men and 26 for women).
Cycling Australia’s general manager of sport, Darren Harris, told CyclingTips that while the NRS calendar is a work in progress, he feels things are shaping up well for 2017.
“My personal look at the calendar … is it’s kind of just been, in the past, a bit of a bolted together series and next year is no exception to that — it is a bit of a bolted-together series,” Harris said. “That being said though, we put out an expression of interest to promoters and to our state federations and the feedback that came back is reflective of the calendar. Promoters definitely want to be part of it.”
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