The Bay Cycling Classic or the ‘Bay Crits’ as it is affectionately known, has been the event that kicks off the cycling year for more than 26 years. Unfortunately, due to the Australian Cycling Calendar of events, the Bay Crits will not be held in 2018.
Race Director and Event Founder, John Trevorrow said that he realises this will be a major disappointment for many cyclists and fans.
“I can assure you that the event will be back bigger and better than ever in 2019. With the Australian Road championships starting on January 3rd, it meant the Bay Crits either ran as a two-day series starting on Jan 1 or changed dates to late December or after the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in February. I don't believe these dates suit the event and I do not want to impact on the Christmas track carnivals any more than we have had to in the past.”
"Three-time Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy taking a new road to glory" - Herald Sun, 28 December 2016
THREE-time Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy is in Geelong hoping to start scratching an itch that has bugged him for some time.
Clancy is one of the all-time great track cyclists having won team pursuit gold at the Beijing, London and Rio Olympics.
But the English 31-year-old, who will seek a fourth gold at Tokyo 2020, revealed he had long regretted not achieving more success on the road.
So, beginning with the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic starting on Sunday, Clancy will dedicate much of the next two years to becoming a more accomplished road racer before turning his attention to his Olympic defence.
“I’m just absolutely bike mad,” Clancy said.
“If you have a look at my garage it’s full of motorbikes, trial bikes, motocross bikes, mountain bikes.
“I’ve always been better known as a track cyclist, but I enjoy road racing just as much, I’ve just had significantly less talent.
“With British cycling being so well funded and having such a strong team pursuit squad for the past decade it’s always made sense for me to put all my eggs in that basket."
“But post-Beijing and post-London I kind of regretted just ploughing on and trying to do the track world championships straight away."
“So this time, I’m not saying I’m going to win the Tour de France or anything because I can’t, physically I haven’t got it in me, but if I can drop a couple of kilos, spend a bit more time on the road, work on my engine a little bit more ... then who knows I might be able to stage race a little bit better, win a few sprints.”
The three-day Bay Crits series in Geelong, Portarlington and Williamstown will be Clancy’s first event on the road since Rio.
He’s here as part of a crack JLT-Condor team that also contains 2014 champion Brenton Jones.
The team will then head to Bendigo for a 10-day training camp before flying to an event in New Zealand.
Clancy said he is keen to see how the Bay Crits go.
“When you’re a guy like myself that spends a lot of his time team persuiting ... the crits do always come a bit more naturally to you than a stage race,” Clancy said.
“It’s a great series, it gets plenty of attention, there’s some great teams that attend, so it’s not going to be easy to get any wins.
“But we’ve got Brenton. And if we work together and we’re feeling all right, who knows, maybe we can take it up to the big boys."
Article by Matt Windley, Herald Sun
UK website sport.co.uk providing coverage of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic from across the globe.
"There will be British interest in the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic which gets under way on New Year's Day in Australia.
The Classic this year sees three criterium races with the first starting and finishing on Ritchie Blvd, Geelong on January 1st and the field will include British riders Olympian Ed Clancy, Jon Mould, Ali Slater, Alex Frame and Ian Bibby in a six man Condor JLT team along with Australian Brenton Jones.
The second race will be held in Portarlington on January 2nd with the third and final race in Williamstown on January 3rd, a day before the Australian national championships start.
Caleb Ewan of Orica Scott, who has won the Elite Mens race for the last two times, is again the favourite.
Hayley Jones of Alé Cycling is the only British rider declared in the list of starters for the Women's race which will take place before the men's races each day."