• The event launch for the Australian Road National Championships 2021 held at event sponsors Federation University (AusCycling)Source: AusCycling
Fans will be allowed on course at the Australian Road National Championships, but there will be strict COVID-protocols in place to allow the event to run in a safe manner.
SBS Cycling Central

15 Jan 2021 - 10:41 AM 

The AusCycling 2021 Federation University Road National Championships was officially launched in Mount Helen, Ballarat today, with the event set to be run in three weeks time, from February 3-7.

The Championships, usually held in the first week of January but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will feature Australia's best cyclists in the elite, under 23, under 19, para-cyclists, masters, club and intellectual impairment categories.

It's a normal schedule for the most part, with national champion's jerseys on offer in the criterium, road race and time trial, across five days of action in Ballarat and Buninyong. There's also a mass-participation Gran Fondo still scheduled for those looking to test their legs in race conditions around the famous Mt Buninyong course.

Event organisers are focused on ensuring the health and safety of the community, competitors and the workforce, with the Championships to operate under strict COVID-19 protocols.

SBS Cycling Central spoke to AusCycling's General Manager for Events and Racing, Kipp Kauffmann, about which differences will be most notable for this year's event.

"We've been working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and we've come up with what we think is a strong plan to have a good event with some crowds there in a safe environment," said Kauffmann. "It will be much different from what we've seen before, but we're happy that we'll have an event. People will be able to watch it from afar if they're not able to make it or come along and enjoy it in a safe way."

In terms of watching the event, which will be shown on SBS Cycling Central in a combination of television broadcast and online livestreaming, there should be different look, but not a vastly changed race from normal.

In-person attendance will be impacted though. The Mt Buninyong climb will have a unique feel in 2021 with viewing sections open to those on a first-in, best-dressed basis for groups looking to populate the famous ascent.

"I think you'll see a spreading out of people, particularly on the climb and the start/finish area, so there's no clumping of people," said Kauffmann. "The feed zone as well - which is normally busy and exciting - will be minimised down. The race itself will be almost the same, so it depends where you're looking from."

Currently, greater Sydney and greater Brisbane residents are unable to travel to Victoria without an exemption, excluding a large number of potential participants in the national championships from participating. Kauffmann said that wouldn't affect whether the event was on or not.

"We'll keep monitoring, but at the moment there's no view that we'd turn back unless there was another major lockdown (within Victoria)," said Kauffmann."

Measures introduced to ensure health and safety include virtual event meetings, plus daily screening and tracing for staff, volunteers, contractors, participants and the public.


SBS Road National Championships broadcast details


Friday February 5 

LIVE: National Criterium Championships
1700 - 2000
Livestream on Cycling Central and SBS On Demand

Saturday February 6 

Highlights: AusCycling 2021 Road National Championships - Criterium

1400 – 1600

SBS TV and streaming to SBS On Demand


Sunday February 7

LIVE: AusCycling 2021 Road National Championships Women’s Road Race

1000 – 1200

SBS TV and streaming to SBS On Demand


LIVE: AusCycling 2021 Road National Championships preview show

1200 – 1300

SBS TV and streaming to SBS On Demand


LIVE: AusCycling 2021 Road National Championships Men’s Road Race

1300 – 1700

SBS TV and streaming to SBS On Demand


For all 2021 Federation University Road National Championships information, visit the official website.