• Cycling Australia Road National Championships. (Getty)
Cycling Australia has confirmed the road nationals will stay in Ballarat for at least three years, ending speculation of a possible move interstate.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
AAP
20 Apr - 5:03 PM 

There was speculation at the January nationals that they might move, with Canberra and Bathurst mooted as potential destinations.

However, a renewed partnership with the Victorian Government and City of Ballarat will see the event stay in the region for the 12th consecutive year.

“We’re working hard to lock in the very best cycling races because we know they mean more jobs and more visitors for Victoria, and that means a stronger economy," said John Eren, Victorian Minister for Sport and Major Events and Tourism.

While Ballarat and nearby Buninyong have been a success since former organiser John Craven moved the nationals there in 2003, there have long been calls for changes to the road race course.

Sprinters have lobbied repeatedly for a different course, saying the hilly 10km circuit negates their chances of winning.

Cycling Australia said it is undertaking a range of initiatives to improve the event, including a review of the Mount Buninyong circuit. 

"A review of the famous Mount Buninyong circuit is currently underway, and, over the course of the agreement, Cycling Australia is working towards an expanded competition schedule that will give fans more days of racing," the national governing body said in a statement.

Chair of Cycling Australia and Ballarat local and former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks said it was fantastic to have the event return to Ballarat.

“We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with the City of Ballarat to keep the famous ‘Road Nats’ in Ballarat.

“The Ballarat community has shown its support to the National Road Championships for over a decade and that’s why we’re pleased to announce it will stay here until 2020."