AusCycling is excited to announce the AusCycling 2021 Federation University Road National Championships will feature an enhanced broadcast agreement for 2021.
The new deal includes domestic coverage on SBS and FoxSports Australia, and for the first time, international broadcast coverage through the Global Cycling Network.
The 2021 Road National Championships will feature Australia’s best cyclists contest across the elite, under 23, under 19, para-cycling, masters, club and intellectual impairment categories.
The coveted green and gold national champion’s jerseys will be on offer in the criterium, road race and time trial, plus Gran Fondo, across five days of action in Ballarat and Buninyong.
The live-action will feature the Friday night criteriums from the heart of the Ballarat CBD, before featuring action from Sunday’s women’s and men’s road races on the famous Mt Buninyong course.
For the first time the AusCycling RoadNats Live show will provide insights and interviews nightly from 7pm, while highlight packages will also be available online throughout the Championships.
Friday 5 February
LIVE action of the Men’s and Women’s Criterium via SBS Cycling Central Facebook.
• WOMEN: 5:00 PM
• MEN: 6:00 PM
Saturday 6 February
REPLAY of the Men’s and Women’s Criterium on SBS TV – time TBC.
Sunday 7 February
LIVE action of the Men’s and Women’s Road Races on SBS, SBS ON DEMAND, FOXSPORTS, GCN LIVE.
• Women’s Road Race 10 AM – 12 NOON
• Half Time Show 12 NOON – 1 PM
• Men’s Road Race 2:00 PM – 5:30 PM
AusCycling RoadNats Live
The official AusCycling RoadNats Live show will provide insights and interviews nightly from 7 pm via the AusCycling Facebook page
Highlight packages will also be available online via the AusCycling Facebook page throughout the Championships.
Transitioning from track to road racing on a bike is one of the more challenging things a competitive cyclist can do. The jump from the velodrome to the open spaces of road racing has forever held a mystique and challenge that champion riders such as Brad McGee, Stuart O’Grady, Rohan Dennis, Amanda Spratt and Chloe Hosking have successfully navigated and conquered.
Federation University student Tylah Meunier is using the 2021 Federation University AusCycling National Championships as his first step into racing at national title level away from the confines of a velodrome.
A former Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holder and Australian national Team Sprint champion coached by cycling legends such as Hilton Clarke and Shane Kelly, Tylah’s inspiration to enter the Road Race and Criterium events that are a part of the 2021 edition of the event came from a place he would never have imagined.
“I think secretly I have always had my eyes set on road racing, and as all my VIS coaching staff knew, I always struggled to keep my mind totally focussed on racing on the track but the pandemic impact on racing and movement in 2020 confirmed my decision that 2020 was as good a time as any to take the plunge and try my legs on the open road. I had never really done any road racing or training before so initially it was a big learning curve and a jump into the deep end. Luckily I have had many awesome people around me both guiding and mentoring me through this new form of bike racing.”
Tylah’s main goal in his new venture into road racing is to nail a top 10 finish in the 2021 Road Nats criterium and successfully navigate his way around the course during the men’s road race. “I think that if I could manage a top 10 in the crits it would mean that I’ve made a solid transition from the track to the road in under 10 months. The criterium is a fast, quick loop that will be chaotic. I will need to stay in the top half of the group to have a fighting chance as the corners will make for an interesting race.”
A rekindled passion for being outdoors on his bike to race criteriums and road races has not only influenced Tylah’s recent cycling career choices but also influenced the course he chose to study at Federation University – a Bachelor of Wildlife and Conservation Science at the Berwick campus.
“One of the reasons cycling stood out to me as a kid riding around Warragul was that it allowed me to spend hours and hours outside. I love being outside walking, running and riding. I have always been interested in environments and conserving those unique environments which are what I now get to study within my university course,” he said.
Tylah was the inaugural Federation University Elite Athlete scholarship recipient, an accolade that has helped balance his cycling and study commitments in pursuit of his degree.
“It helped an unbelievable amount. It took money stress out of riding a bike and meant that I could both focus on cycling and Uni instead of needing to work hours in-between the two commitments. I have recently bought myself a new bike and this was mainly due to the help that the scholarship gave me. Without the scholarship the transition to road would have been a lot trickier than it already was,” he said.
Tylah will likely race in the Federation University rider jersey while competing in the criterium and road race in his quest to join some of the legends that have successfully navigated the transition from being a national track champion to accomplished road rider. Look out for the rider in the navy blue and white jersey with a smile on his face enjoying a taste of what makes him happy – riding a bike quickly in the great Australian outdoors.
By Oscar Owens, Exercise and Sports Science Lecturer, Federation University
With the AusCycling Road National Championships just around the corner, we caught up with local cyclist and bike mechanic Adam Lewis to talk about his favourite cycling trails – especially for those who enjoy riding with their young families.
Q. What is your favourite cycling trail in Ballarat?
Southern Mountain Bike Loop, Buninyong – it’s the best 25km of trails within one-hour of Ballarat. A great variety of trails.
Q. What do you recommend to anyone thinking of taking on this track?
A good quality mountain bike. And, be careful of jumps on your first run.
Q. If someone is looking for a trail they can take their whole family, where do you recommend?
Yarrowee River Trail. My wife, four and six-year-old start at Magpie and ride into Ballarat. You can also ride Ballarat to the Gong (Gong Gong Reservoir) along the same trail.
(We totally agree with Adam on this one, The Yarrowee River Trail forms part of the wider Goldfields Track and is divided into two sections – Northern Highlights and Southern Highlights.
Starting at the Ballarat Railway Station, the northern section of the trail takes you deep into the forest and ends at the Gong Gong Reservoir Park – a great place to picnic. While the southern section takes you by swamplands, creeks and flora reserves – ending at the hamlet of Magpie, a popular settlement during the gold rush. One way, from the Gong Gong Reservoir to Magpie is 16km.
Q. Where’s your favourite place to get coffee in Ballarat?
Le Peche Gourmand, Creswick.
HOP TIP: If you’re looking for a testing (but fun) two-hour loop, then add The Creswick Classic to your to-do list. The first 30-45 minutes will make you work hard as you head over the hills, but after that its smooth sailing ahead – enjoy the dense forestry as you wind into Creswick, where you can sit down for coffee and baguette, pastries and macarons at Le Peche Gourmand.
Q. What are your top three recommendations of things to do in Ballarat?
- Walk or ride Lake Wendouree
- Visit Sovereign Hill
- Check out the Ballarat Wildlife Park
Q. You’re an Expert at servicing bikes, which is great for those who might need a helping hand in February so where can we find you?
Bikes on La Trobe – 1101B La Trobe Street, Delacombe!