RoadNats is back from Jan 6 – 10, 2023

Road Nationals

7/2/21-Ballarat/Buninyong
AusCycling2021 Federation University Road National Championships. 
Elite Men Road Race
(Photo by Con Chronis/AusCycling)

Preview: 2022 Federation University Road National Championships

#RoadNats22 roars into life this week in Ballarat, with the best of Australia’s road cyclists on the hunt for national championships. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of five days of Federation University Road National Championships action.

Time Trials

The opening day of #RoadNats22 returns to Federation University’s Mount Helen campus for another year, with the course featuring a technical start and finish section as well as several sharp climbs.

The individual time trials will be held on two courses: a shorter ‘pink course’ and the longer ‘yellow course’. The elite men will tackle 37.5 kilometres (two laps of the yellow course), the elite women and both Under 23 national titles will be decided over 28.6km (two laps of the pink course), while both junior crowns will be won over one 18.8km lap of the yellow course.

Para-cycling time trial national champions will be crowned in the first events of #RoadNats22, beginning at 8am with the H1-2 classifications.

On Wednesday, the first block of time trials will see intellectually impaired and deaf cyclists compete against the clock before the masters fields take to the course.

Thursday will see the return of Club Team Time Trials for another year, with more than 40 teams competing over two laps of a 16.2km (32.4km) course from 10am.

Ones to watch

Attention will be firmly focused on another ding-dong battle between familiar foes Rohan Dennis (Jumbo-Visma) and Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange-Jayco) on Wednesday evening. The pair have shared seven of the last ten elite men time trial national championships.

Reigning champion Luke Plapp (INEOS Grenadiers) will unfortunately not have the chance to defend his 2021 title due to being deemed a close contact of a COVID case.

In new colours for 2022, Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) enters the elite women time trial as the outright favourite to claim the green and gold jersey. Brown enjoyed a season of tremendous form in 2021 including a fourth at Tokyo 2020 and a win at Classic Brugge-de Panne.

Back-to-back elite women national time trial champion Sarah Gigante (Movistar) continues to recover from a diagnosis of myopericarditis and will not take to the start line in Ballarat.

2020 Paralympic Games medalists Darren Hicks, Paige Greco, Emily Petricola, Meg Lemon, Amanda Reid and Carol Cooke will all take to the start line on Wednesday in their first race outing since Tokyo.

how to watch

Updates from Federation University’s Mount Helen campus will be shared through AusCycling’s social media channels, with highlights from the day to follow on SBS On Demand and SBS Cycling Central.

Key start times for action on the ground in Ballarat are:

Wednesday (AEDT)

  • 8am – Para-cycling; Intellectually impaired and deaf
  • 10am – Masters
  • 1pm – U19 men
  • 1.50pm – U19 women
  • 2.45pm – U23 men
  • 3.45pm – Elite and U23 women
  • 5.30pm – Elite men

Thursday (AEDT)

  • 10am – Club Team Time Trial

criteriums

Ballarat’s iconic 1.1km Sturt Street circuit will set the scene for the #RoadNats22 criterium national championships, with the long uphill drag home always a pulsating crescendo.

The elite men will cover 44km of Sturt St (40 laps), the elite women will compete over 38.5km (35 laps), the U23 men over 33km (30 laps), the U19 women will cover 16.5km (15 laps), and the U19 men, as well as all masters categories, will race for 22km (20 laps).

ones to watch

These will be the most unpredictable races of the entire #RoadNats22 week! BikeExchange-Jayco neo-pro Ruby Roseman-Gannon looms as a clear favourite for the elite women criterium crown. The Victorian swept all four stages of the 2021 National Road Series finale at USC Cycle Sunshine Coast and

continued her hot streak at the Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits in Geelong, winning both stages comfortably.

ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast and InForm TMX Make will fancy their chances on Friday with numbers on their side. We will be keeping an eye on InForm TMX Make teammates Amber Pate and Matilda Raynolds, and ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast’s Alexandra Martin-Wallace.

The elite men national title is open for the taking courtesy of several UCI WorldTour stars including Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) and reigning champion Kaden Groves (BikeExchange-Jayco) not returning to Australia for their off-season.

NRS teams will be licking their lips at the prospect of adding a green-and-gold jersey to the locker for 2022, but you can never count out BikeExchange-Jayco’s Cameron Meyer and Luke Durbridge. Don’t be surprised to see InForm TMX Make sprinter Brenton Jones in the hunt for his second national criterium championship too, judging by recent form.

Preceding the above criteriums will be a humdinger of a U23 men entrée. The InForm TMX Make arsenal of young stars will feature heavily. However, they won’t have it all their way if Team BridgeLane opts to spice it up. Predicting a winner is nigh on impossible, but we expect it will come from either Blake Quick (Inform TMX Make) or WorldTour development team prospects Jensen Plowright (La Conti Groupama-FDJ) and defending champion Matthew Rice (Lotto-Soudal Development Team).

how to watch

The elite men and women criteriums will be live streamed on SBS On Demand, with updates throughout the day from Sturt St shared through AusCycling’s social media channels.

Full highlights, including U23, U19 and masters, will be shown on SBS On Demand and SBS Cycling Central.

Key start times for action on the ground in Ballarat are:

Friday (AEDT)

  • 10.30am – Masters
  • 3.10pm – U19 women
  • 3.35pm – U19 men
  • 4.15pm – U23 men
  • 5.15pm – Elite women
  • 6.30pm – Elite men

road races

January and Mount Buninyong: a match made in heaven. The iconic climb has tested the best of Australian cycling for nearly two decades now, and this weekend’s #RoadNats22 action will be no different.

Saturday’s road races will see our para-cycling national road race champions decided first-up before the U19 men and women roll away mid-morning. After that, the highly coveted U23 men’s title will be

fought out over 139.2km around Buninyong in the afternoon, followed by the McDonald’s Gran Fondo National Championships to finish the day.

Then, it’s Super Sunday! Nine laps of the 11.6km Buninyong course (104.4km) await the elite and U23 women on Sunday morning, while the elite men will do battle over 185.6km (16 laps). Mount Buninyong will be buzzing and the racing will be electrifying – we can’t wait.

ones to watch

Cameron Meyer will start Sunday in pursuit of a feat not achieved since John Trevorrow in 1980 – a third consecutive elite men’s national title.

Meyer’s teammate Luke Durbridge will also figure as a threat, as will fellow WorldTour Aussies Rohan Dennis, Chris Harper (Jumbo-Visma), Lucas Plapp and Chris Hamilton (Team DSM).

Grace Brown has occupied every step of the elite women’s podium bar the top one in the last four years – 2022 could be the year it happens. Rachel Neylan was Australia’s top finisher at the 2021 UCI Road World Championships in Flanders and will be out to impress in her first outing for Cofidis. A Tokyo Olympian on the track, Alexandra Manly will hope to mark her return to the road and the BikeExchange-Jayco outfit with a bang and will form a lethal one-two punch with teammate Ruby Roseman-Gannon.

Young Canyon–SRAM talent Neve Bradbury is another name to look out for when the racing hits its straps up Buninyong, while reigning U23 national champion Emily Watts (Knights of Suburbia Racing) will be hungry to retain her title.

Reigning elite women’s national champion Sarah Roy (Canyon-SRAM) has remained in Europe and will not race #RoadNats22.

In the U23 men, Alastair MacKellar (Israel Cycling Academy) arrives in Buninyong on the back of an impressive 2021 season in Europe but will be in for a tough fight without teammates. 2021 Melbourne to Warrnambool winner Jensen Plowright will love nothing more than a green and gold jersey to take back to Europe this year, but former Team BridgeLane teammate Matthew Dinham may rain on his parade.

The pick of the para-cycling road races will be the mano a mano battle between Tokyo Paralympics gold medalist Emily Petricola and bronze medalist Meg Lemon in the women C4. Australian Cycling Team veteran and four-time Paralympic Games medalist David Nicholas will hope to add to his 10 C3 national titles in the first wave of para-cycling road races for the day. Stuart Jones, the man who captured the hearts of the country in Tokyo with his act of memorable sportsmanship, will also be vying for a national title in the men’s T1-2 race.

how to watch

The elite men race, elite and U23 women race, and U23 men race will be shown live on SBS On Demand. Sunday’s elite road races will also be broadcast live to SBS from 10am.

Saturday race highlights from para-cycling, intellectually impaired and deaf, U19s, U23 men, and McDonald’s Gran Fondo will be viewable on SBS on Demand and SBS Cycling Central.

Key start times for action on the ground in Ballarat are:

Saturday (AEDT)

  • 7.30am – Para-cycling; Intellectually impaired and deaf
  • 9.40am – U19 women
  • 9.50am – U19 men
  • 1.20pm – U23 men
  • 5.15pm – Gran Fondo

Sunday (AEDT)

  • 8.50am – Elite and U23 women
  • 12.30pm – Elite men

about

The AusCycling 2022 Federation University Road National Championships will be held at Mount Helen, Ballarat and Buninyong from January 12–16.

It is proudly supported by Federation University, Visit Victoria, City of Ballarat and Visit Ballarat.

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