Bicycle Network: Roadies
As summer heats up, so does the crit racing. A number of upcoming events provide the perfect opportunity for Melburnians to get close to phenomenal racing, featuring some of the best local and international talent.
Crits season signals summer
12 December 2013. You know summer has arrived when the queues line up at the Myer store windows and the Criterium races hit the streets of the suburbs and towns around the state.
The 25th edition of the Bay Crits—the Michelton Bay Cycling Classic—gets underway in Thursday, 2 January on Ritchie Boulevard in Geelong before moving to the nearby Eastern Gardens circuit the next day (3 Jan).
Then on Saturday (Jan 4) competitors switch to the tough Portarlington course where the gradient gets them gasping.
Finally on Sunday (Jan 5) the series concludes in Williamstown. This is a great opportunity for Melburnians to jump on their bikes and ride to the seaside village and enjoy the racers strutting their stuff.
The events are from 11.30am-4.30pm, except for the first day in Geelong which is 3pm-7pm.
The big attraction this year will be teenage wunderkind Caleb Ewan, who set the series alight last year, and has since been signed by Orica-GreenEDGE. They will be the team to beat this year with a line-up featuring Matt Goss, Leigh Howard, Luke Durbridge, Michael Hepburn and Mitch Docker.
Another major Criterium event on the schedule takes place this Sunday 15th December—the Logie Smith Lanyon Super Crit, held at St Kilda Cycling Club’s crit circuit on White Street, South Melbourne. Featuring a formidable field of Australian and European professional riders, Nation Road Series teams and the cream of local club riders, it will be a hotly contested affair.
Mixing it with Orica-GreenEDGE will be class riders like Matthew Hayman (Sky), adopted-Aussie Koen de Kort (Argos Shimano) and Matthew Lloyd (Lampre), as well as Caleb Ewan, Steele Von Hoff (Garmin Sharp) and Baden Cooke in the final race of his storied career.
There’s a full line-up of racing on show, from E Grade (starting at 7.30am) all the way up to Elite level, with the Elite races underway from 11.30am (women) and 1pm (men).
With $26,700 of winnings on offer—and equal prize money for women and men—it’s one of the richest races on the Australian calendar, and will make for fast, exciting and spectator-friendly racing.