• Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships (Kathryn Watt)Source: Kathryn Watt
Like Swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, calls to make changes to the structure of the Cycling Australia Road National Championships fill the air every time the event is run.
Cycling Central
11 Jan 2016 - 12:10 PM  UPDATED 11 Jan 2016 - 4:10 PM

There is no question the championships have been a success in its current location, but after several years of racing on the same Buninyong course it's threatening to become all a bit same, same - at least for the elite men.

The main issue with the current course is that it favours a certain kind of rider - the punchy kind like two-time champion Simon Gerrans - and it effectively rules out the fast men ever showing off the green and gold stripes around the world.

And this weekend we saw a strongman, Jack Bobridge, win the race for the second time with another grinding solo break on a course which again rewarded his opportunism.

Where were the sprinters? Well they didn’t come. And if they did start, they were the first to grab the best cafe spots to watch the rest of the race as it wore on.

Guys like Mark Renshaw and Leigh Howard.

The race ended with Bobridge claiming a win by minutes after hours of TV time and only 14 other riders crossing the line to record an official finishing time. It was an epic display of personal courage, but not quite the spectacle we were hoping for.

Guys like Robbie McEwen and Mark Renshaw have been banging on about this for years but their concerns always fall on deaf ears.

We’ll be back there again next year, but after that there will an opportunity for Cycling Australia to reset the narrative of the road nationals, either through a change of venue and/or rethink of the course design.

Will they seize the day and give the sprinters fair shake of the sauce bottle? Do they have the courage to break out of its well worn Ballarut?

What to do with the road nats?
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