• Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships. (Getty)Source: Getty
Cycling Australia has confirmed a world-class line up of riders will hit Ballarat for the 2017 MARS Road Nationals in Ballarat 4-8 January.
Cycling Australia
23 Dec 2016 - 11:13 AM 

A host of reigning and defending champions have punched their card for the Championships with Rohan Dennis, Amanda Spratt, Simon Gerrans, Katrin Garfoot and Caleb Ewan headlining the field set to battle for the coveted green and gold jerseys from January 4.

SBS and Fox to broadcast 2017 MARS Road Nationals
SBS and Fox Sports have been confirmed as broadcast partners for the 2017 MARS Cycling Australia Road Nationals Championships, with the two networks to provide an expanded coverage of ‘Super Sunday’ in 2017.


The 2017 MARS RoadNats will explode on Wednesday 4 January, with a twilight criterium race on the streets of Ballarat which is set to transform the city into a cycling mecca.

Pocket rocket and crowd favourite Caleb Ewan (NSW) lit up the streets in 2016 with his maiden nationals crown and this January, the ORICA-SCOTT rider will certainly once again be a crowd favourite.

Expect fireworks from dual champion Steele Von Hoff (VIC) as he aims for his third title in four years, while don’t discount 2012 winner Anthony Giacoppo (WA) who is always a threat with four podium appearances at the last six Championships.

Young gun Brenton Jones (VIC) has found the podium twice in three years and will be aiming for the top stop in 2017, while former under 23 winners Chris Hamilton (VIC) and Jesse Kerrison (QLD) will be gunning for impact in the elite ranks against former track sprinter Scott Sunderland (WA).

In 2016, the Nationals shone a spotlight on dark horse, Sophie Mackay (NSW) who bolted to victory ahead of a stellar field. This year she will be out to make sure it wasn’t a one-off, but two-time winner Kimberley Wells (ACT) and 2014 champion Sarah Roy (NSW) know what it takes to win on this course.

Olympian Georgia Baker (TAS) and former under 23 champions Shannon Malseed (VIC), Emily Roper (QLD) and Jessica Mundy (SA) add spice to an exciting field.

The next-gen battle in the under 23 men’s event will pit Olympic silver medallist Sam Welsford (WA) against his world championship teammate Alex Porter (SA), plus junior world championship medallist Cameron Scott (NSW) and Kelland O'Brien (VIC).

Wednesday 4 January
U23 Men 33 km (30 x 1.1 km laps) 16:30
U23 & Elite Women 33 km (30 x 1.1 km laps) 17:30
Elite Men 44 km (40 x 1.1 km laps) 19:00


On Thursday 5 January, the purest test of cycling fortitude - the individual time trial - will take centre stage along the picturesque rolling hills of Golden Plains Shire.

BMC’s Rohan Dennis (SA) grabbed Tour de France yellow in 2015, and donned Aussie green and gold throughout the world in 2016 after soaring to his maiden national time trial crown earlier this year.

Dennis will defend his title in 2017 and form an exciting trio of favourites, with ORICA-SCOTT’s Luke Durbridge (WA) and Michael Hepburn (QLD) who between them have claimed four of the past five titles.

Looking to cause more than a ripple in the ranks in 2017 will be 2015 national under 23 champion and 2016 world championship medallist Miles Scotson (SA) when he makes his debut in the elite ranks sporting new BMC colours. Eyes will also be on Sean Lake (VIC) who will be hoping to improve on his 2016 bronze medal.

In the women’s field, reigning national champion and world championship medallist Katrin Garfoot (QLD) headlines the field with four-time champion Shara Gillow (QLD). Gillow is gunning for a fifth crown to equal Kathy Watt’s record.

Rising star Alexandra Manly (SA) and Subaru NRS champion Lisen Hockings (VIC) will be looking to usurp the talented duo as well as individual pursuit world champion Rebecca Wiasak (ACT).
In the under 23 race against the clock, reigning champion Callum Scotson (SA) is a pre-Christmas favourite, with Rohan Wight (SA) and junior world championship representatives Alastair Christie-Johnston (VIC), Macgregor Carter (VIC) and Harry Sweeny (QLD) rising to the senior ranks.

Thursday 5 January
U23 Men 29.3km 10:30am
U23 & Elite Women 29.3km 12:30am
Elite Men 40.9km 14:15


The iconic Mt Buninyong circuit will once again be the perfect backdrop for the weekend’s road race action. Australia’s rising stars will warm up the course on Saturday afternoon in the under 23 race, while ‘Super Sunday’ will showcase some of the world’s best in the women’s and men’s road races.

Dual champion Simon Gerrans (VIC) is a favourite, with the ORICA-SCOTT headliner looking to make history by becoming the first man to win three national road crowns since Robbie McEwen in 2005. Gerrans will be backed by a strong ORICA-SCOTT team which includes 2013 champion Luke Durbridge (WA) and cult-hero Mitchell Docker (VIC).

However the event is wide open for the fifth different champion in five years with a host of WorldTour stars racing in their backyard including Team Dimension Data’s trio Nathan Haas (ACT), Lachlan Morton (NSW) and Ben O’Connor, Lotto-Soudal’s Adam Hansen (QLD), Cannondale-Drapac Brendan Canty (VIC) and Bora-Hansgrohe Jay McCarthy (QLD).

In the women’s event, dual champions and teammates Gracie Elvin (ACT) and Amanda Spratt (NSW) have the chance to become just the event’s second three-time winner along with Kathy Watt.
Standing in their way is 2015 champion Peta Mullens (VIC) who will be eager to etch her name on the trophy again, with Tiffany Cromwell (SA) always a threat with eight top ten finishes in the past ten years.

A multiple podium finisher at RoadNats Lauren Kitchen (NSW) will be aiming high, as will evergreen Ruth Corset (QLD), who tasted glory in 2010 and silver most recently in 2016. Look out as well for young guns Jenelle Crooks (QLD), Georgia Baker (TAS) and Emily Roper (QLD).

The under 23 men’s race has a bumper field headlined by 2016 Tour de l'Avenir king of the mountains winner Lucas Hamilton (VIC). West Australians Jai Hindley, Michael Storer and Sam Welsford along with Para-cycling star and 2015 medallist Alistair Donohoe (VIC) and Olympic medallist Callum Scotson (SA) will also line up.

Saturday 7 January
Road Nationals Gran Fondo Various 8:30am
U23 Men 132.6 km (13 x 10.2 km laps) 13:00

Sunday 8 January*
U23 & Elite Women 102.0 km (10 x 10.2 km laps) 8:00am
Elite Men 183.6 km (18 x 10.2 km laps) 12:15pm