2023 CITROËN Bay Crits Media Release
A FORMER CHAMPION BOWS OUT - AS A NEW SPONSOR COMES IN.
CITROËN SETS THE STAGE FOR BRENTON'S FINAL BID.
New name and new sponsor officially unveiled today for the"Worlds Fastest Criterium Races"
A golden generation for 2023 CITROËN Bay Crits as past winners & Commonwealth Champions return.
The hot-dog circuit is back and so are the big names, with the 2014 champion BRENTON JONES hoping for a significant send off to his decorated career. The former Australian Criterium Champion will be bowing out of the sport at the elite level, hoping to end nearly two decades of racing in Australia and Europe with a fairytale finish.
And after guiding TMX-MAKE team mate BLAKE QUICK to victory last year, he would love a swan-song that included a step on the podium. JONES will expand his post-career coaching role next year, in unison with his expanding family, with his first child due in mid-January.
Past Bay Crits champions will be joined by Commonwealth Games Gold Medalists, National champions, overseas heroes, Olympians and a host of other superstars with the final teams to be revealed in coming weeks.
A reformatted and revitalised junior race series, supported by the Spirit of Tasmania, will also see the best of the emerging teenage talent racing the same circuits as their heroes, and will offer a chance for fans to see the next generation of potential green and gold stars, including LUCA LANCASTER, son of Olympic Gold medalist BRETT LANCASTER
And with the brilliant joint support of the Victorian Government's Significant Sporting Events Fund, Visit Victoria, and the City of Greater Geelong, the new look Bay Crits is aiming up for a huge 2023 with brand new sponsors in CITROËN and The Spirit of Tasmania.
There will be no time for hangovers as the three day event kicks off on New Years Day at Eastern Gardens, with a return to that venue (with the race going in the opposite direction) on Monday January 2 and then the big finale at Ritchie Boulevard on Tuesday January 3 with the tight turns of the 'hot-dog' track set to stage (as always) some of the closest racing we have seen in Australia.
John Trevorrow, the CITROËN Bay Crits Race Director:
“We are excited to have the Bay Crits back to three days to start the year in 2023 - it has been an innovator over the years - taking the race to the people was what it was always about. Recognised by National and International participants as the fastest criterium series in the world. The superstars of Australian cycling cut their teeth in the Bay Crits. Names such as Cadel Evans, Stuart O'Grady, Robbie McEwen, and, when the women’s Bay Crits were introduced in 1994, it gave riders of the caliber of Kathy Watt, Anna Wilson, Oenone Wood and Rochelle Gilmore the opportunity to show off their class."
"Last year’s winners Blake Quick and Ruby Roseman-Gannon will be back to defend their titles and they will undoubtedly be pushed by our two stars who are here at the launch, rising young star and current Australian Road Champion Luke Plapp and Commonwealth Games Gold medalist Georgia Baker."
"This is a perfect opportunity to welcome our new naming rights partner Citroen on board for the CITROËN Bay Crits. I have been fortunate enough to drive a CITROËN while covering the Tour de France and it’s great to have such a prestigious European marque as our new partner."
"It is also perfect timing to welcome aboard the Spirit of Tasmania as our new Support Partner. As you are probably aware, Geelong is the new Victorian home of the Spirit of Tasmania and they have been a wonderful partner of cycling for 20 years."
We will again be presenting the Damion Drapac Foundation Support Race for men and women who get their chance to display their talents in front of their peers, while paying tribute to an amazing young man that was tragically taken away too early. We also will have masters on show, displaying that they can still produce some serious horsepower at any age."
"I am especially pleased that we have been able to grow the events for the young stars of the future with the age group events for boys and girls from U11 to U19.
"The racing has always been great, and I’m sure this January we will again witness all the razzamatazz and entertainment that makes this series so special. And a welcome back to the international voice of cycling with global cycling guru Phil Liggett to be joined by Australia’s own voice Matt Keenan to host each of the three days."
Brenton Jones: Retiring 2014 winner:
"This race has always been a huge part of my life, I was here helping my Mum move barricades as a young kid, she has been the event director for a long time, and I got the chance to watch my heroes racing around these exact circuits and it was really inspirational."
"I have had a terrific journey in cycling, not only winning here in 2014 but racing in Europe including Paris-Roubaix and also winning the National Criterium title, so I am very happy and this would be the perfect swan-song if I can get one of my team mates on the top step of the CITROËN Bay Crits."
"I think it might be an emotional moment for the family to go through that whole journey and have me finish my selected career on Ritchie Boulevard on the 3rd of January."
"Yeh I think it is a family event and it has been for many years and John is like a father of Bay Crits for me - I think it would be special to race here one last time and I hope the baby comes on the due date (Mid January) and I will have been racing in a CITROËN Bay Crits jersey "
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos:
"We’re backing regional events that draw more visitors to destinations across the state and this event will do just that, attracting top riders from around the world and providing local athletes with the chance to race the best."
City of Greater Geelong Mayor Trent Sullivan:
“Council is proud to have supported this spectacular race since its inception, which is synonymous with the start of a New Year in Geelong.
“We’re excited that the event is secured thanks to the support of CITROËN, and it will continue to deliver high-quality and fast-paced cycling on our waterfront.”
CITROËN Australia National Sales Manager Chris Zonneveld:
"Throughout its illustrious 103 year history CITROËN has always been a daring brand, close to people. Cycling perfectly encapsulates this bold attitude and closeness: it appeals to a huge number of people of all ages, in numerous countries around the world.
CITROËN overseas is a title co-sponsor of the AG2R CITROËN team that includes our own Ben O'Connor."
"And now the 2023 CITROËN Bay Crits is an exciting way for CITROËN to continue its cycling journey right here in Australia, and we are looking forward to getting involved and supporting the Bay Crits community"
Spirit of Tasmania Communications and Partnerships Coordinator Chris Bolsin:
"We’re excited to join as a Major Partner for the CITROËN Bay Crits and be the official Sponsor of the Spirit of Tasmania Victorian Age Group Championships. With Spirit of Tasmania now making its home in Geelong at Spirit of Tasmania Quay, we’re delighted that Spirit of Tasmania is supporting Geelong events and creating opportunities for young cyclists in the region.
"It’s great to have Spirit of Tasmania as part of the CITROËN Bay Crits team and part of the Geelong community."
More than 200 cyclists will compete in the men’s and women’s elite Criterium and support events, across January 1- 3, 2023 in Geelong.
This famous event has delivered champions like CALEB EWAN, ROBBIE MCEWEN, CHLOE HOSKING, AMANDA SPRATT and a host of international stars to the summer crowds, and it's kicking off the season again in 2023.
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Fairytale finish to glittering career for Jones, while Ruby rules again.
Fairytales do come true, as Jones scores swansong win by narrowest of margins, while Roseman-Gannon again dominates the women's event.
Stage two at CITROËN Bay Crits sees Frislie fly and Ruby rule
Graeme Frislie flies into the yellow leaders jersey, while a Ruby Roseman-Gannon repeat is just one win away.