• Gracie Elvin in action at La Course by Le Tour de France, another event that has responded to the call for increased exposure and opportunities for female cyclists (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The MARS Cycling Australia Road National Championships have announced changes to the scheduling of the women’s road race, which will see it receive the increased exposure it deserves.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Cycling Australia
24 Nov 2015 - 11:09 AM  UPDATED 24 Nov 2015 - 11:41 AM

The combined women’s elite and under-23 national road race championships has previously been scheduled to take place the day before the men’s event.

The iconic Mt Buninyong circuit will now come alive on a newly formed ‘Super Sunday’ schedule which will showcase both the women’s and men’s road races, on the same day, for the first time ever.

The impact this has on broadcasting logistics means the final hour of the women’s road race will be televised immediately prior to the men’s event on the Nine Network.

"I'm really excited that the Australian women's championship has been elevated to a whole new level in 2016, and will be on the same day as the men's race,” said two-time road champion Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS).

“It shows that Cycling Australia is treating our sport seriously and with the respect that we are earning all over the world.”

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Tens of thousands of fans are also expected to line the course for the action packed day, which begins with the women’s 102km race from 8am, followed by the men’s 183km battle from 11.50am.

“With the increased coverage on television across Australia, we can show how tough our athletes are and exciting our sport is. It will also give much better representation of all the sponsors and supporters of women's cycling who don't usually receive such exposure,” said Elvin.

Cycling Australia has also confirmed the champions in the under-23 women’s classification will be presented with the famous green and gold national jersey.

“Elevating the status of the under-23 women’s champion further extends Cycling Australia’s, and the Cycling Australia Women’s Commission’s, commitment to women’s cycling in our country,” said Cycling Australia CEO, Nicholas Green OAM.

The change of schedule will now see the Under-23 men’s road race held on Saturday afternoon, which has allowed for an additional event to be held on the Saturday morning: the inaugural MARS Australian Gran Fondo Championships. This new event creates an opportunity for lovers of cycling to be immersed into the biggest weekend on Cycling Australia’s calendar.