Australian Road Race champion Shannon Malseed narrows her focus for title defence at Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits
Wearing the green and gold national colours of a cycling champion has been an honour Shannon Malseed has been happy to savour for the past 12 months – and she likes the feel, and wants to do it again in this coming year
So the Victorian will put the finishing touches, and really refine her focus on her national title defence preparation when she lines up at the 2019 Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits in Geelong tomorrow.
Malseed (Team Tibco) upstaged world class rivals to win the Australian National Road Race title in Ballarat last January, and claimed the famous hoops of the national champions jersey.
For three days from January 1st, the 23-year-old will fine tune her form at the fast and furious Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits.
“The Bay Crits are a really good way to get a couple of days of solid leg speed, and familiarisation of racing in a fast, and strong field just a few days out from the Nationals. This is a great tool to prepare the body, and the mind for racing for the Australian Championship title on the weekend!”
“I see the Bay Crits as an integral part of my preparation for Nationals, and I am really glad to see them back for 2019,” said Malseed.
Malseed will race with a line up that has to be seen to be believed - the Lexus Blackburn All Stars women’s team also boasts Commonwealth gold medallist Chloe Hosking (Alé–Cipollini) and Australia’s number 1 ranked female cyclist and UCI road World Championships silver medallist Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton Scott).
Rising star Sarah Gigante, German international Romy Kasper (Alé–Cipollini) and Britain’s Clover Murray round out the team.
“I am super pumped to be racing with those two legends of the sport! I'm looking forward to working with them, rather than racing against them,” Malseed joked.
“I'm keen to see what we can do together as a team. I'm sure it will be a lot of fun.”
The Lexus team will go head-to-head with the Roxsolt Attaquer team featuring 2017 champion Valentina Scandolara of Italy.
“Aside from the great depth in the field at the Bay Crits, which gives all riders a chance to race against some of the best professionals in the world; I love the Bay Crits because they are a great spectacle for my friends and family who love to come and watch me race - they always give me feedback that it is awesome to be able to see the entire race and watch some fast and aggressive cycling.
“I also really enjoy seeing and meeting up with all the people who are there racing and watching; it has been a while between races, so it is always great to have a catch up, and being the beginning of the new year, in summer in Australia - the vibe is always fun and exciting!”
The Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits run from January 1 – January 3 in Geelong and Williamstown. Click here for stage information.
The event will be live streamed on the Cycling Central Facebook Page each day. Click here for broadcast schedule.
Click here for the full entry list.
Lexus of Blackburn 'All Stars' Team Announced
Known as ‘the world’s fastest criterium series,’ The Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits has a long history of attracting some of Australia’s best WorldTour riders looking to sharpen their legs ahead of a new cycling season, and 2019 is no exception.
Leading the charge of the Lexus of Blackburn ‘All Stars’ team, will be 2014 champion Brenton Jones (DELKO Marseille) and two-time Bay Crits stage winner Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-SCOTT).
Joining Jones and Durbridge will be a trio of Bendigo riders, who will no doubt bring a strong comradery to the team. Sam Crome and Robbie Hucker – who will be teammates in 2019 for Japanese Team UKYO - and 22-year-old Julian Thompson, all hail from the Victorian country town known to be a breeding ground for professional cyclists.
Thompson will be looking to learn off his more experienced teammates ahead of his first season with Australian National Road Series team GPM-Stulz.
German born sprinter Raphael Freienstein (InForm MAKE) rounds out the team and adds some extra fire power to the sprint lead-out.
“I’m really looking forward to racing the Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits again in January, it’s a race I always look forward to and have many fond memories of,” said Jones.
“I think the Lexus team will be one of the strongest teams out there, and it will be good to race with Durbo and the other guys.”
Coming in as an ‘all star’ Sports Director will be cycling stalwart Dave Sanders who brings decades of experience and passion to the role.
“This team is more than capable of certainly winning a stage and definitely the overall event,” said Sanders, who has a long history managing Australian national teams and mentoring some of Australia’s most successful cyclists including Simon Clarke.
“I personally have worked in every episode of the Bay Crits since its inception, so it’s a special event for me.”
“It is also a very special event for Brenton Jones, who grew up working on the crew as a young fella every year, to eventually becoming the overall winner of the series.
So he has to be considered to be part of the big “family” of this exciting event.
“Brenton has to be considered one of the favourites to take out the overall honours with his tenacious and fearless sprinting abilities.
“Luke Durbridge is without a doubt one of the strongest riders to be pinning a number on and will certainly be ripping the field apart with his powerful attacks.
“The rest of the team all have fine pedigrees and will be there as both opportunistic riders and strong support for Brenton in the fast finishes.”
The Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits begin on New Year’s Day at Eastern Gardens Geelong. Wednesday January 2 sees the race move to Richie Blvd in Geelong before concluding on Thursday January 3 in Williamstown.
For more information including race schedule head to www.baycyclingclassic.com.au
SBS and Foxsports have both been confirmed as preferred broadcasters of the Lexus of Blackburn Bay Classic for 2019.
In what is sure to be a popular move, SBS's Cycling Central Facebook page will also deliver a livestream of the racing each day.
SBS will also air a high-powered highlights package in the lead up to the Men's and Women's Road Races as part of their Fed Uni Australia Road Nationals broadcast on Friday January 4.
Foxsports will broadcast Lexus of Blackburn Bay Classic highlights on pay-tv.
SBS nightly news and Foxsports news will have daily race highlights, with other free-to-air networks also likely to include the action in their bulletins.
Race Director John Trevorrow - " We are excited to be delivering fast racing to a global audience via SBS Cycling Central Facebook live. The Lexus Bay Classic is charging strongly towards it's fourth decade and we continue to utilise fresh technology to take our cycling stars to new audiences"
For more information about post-event highlights packages for media, contact us.
With a new naming rights partner The Lexus of Blackburn Bay Classic or the ‘Bay Crits’ as it is affectionately known, has been the event that kicks off the cycling year for more than 27 years.
Race Director and Event Founder, John Trevorrow said that he realises how important the series is to Australian cyclists and it’s fantastic that we have been able to breath new life into the iconic event with a fabulous new sponsor in Lexus of Blackburn.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ryan family who have been the naming rights partner of the Bay Classic for nearly 20 years and am pleased to announce that, although they have passed the baton on to Lexus of Blackburn, they are staying on as a major partner.
The Bay Classic has been an innovator over the years - taking the race to the people was what it is all about. Recognised by National and International participants as the fastest criterium series in the world, the bay Crits have hosted some of the world’s biggest teams such as Spanish powerhouse Once and French team Credit Agricole back when that just didn't happen in Australia. The superstars of Australian cycling cut their teeth in the Bay Crits. Names such as Cadel Evans, Stuart O'Grady, Robbie McEwen, Brad McGee, Baden Cooke and in the women's Kathy Watt, Anna Wilson, Oenone Wood, Rochelle Gilmore and Tracey Gaudry.
In the early days, it was Gary Sutton who showed his class and many may not know this, but the Bay Crits was the only race Phil Anderson ever rode in Australia after he turned professional in 1980 until he retired in 1993. It was also the first event to offer equal prizemoney to women. In more recent times we have seen the rise and rise of Caleb Ewan, who first starred as a 17 year old and Brenton Jones who worked on the event as a youngster, before going on to win the series in 2014. The women’s event has blossomed over recent years with some of the best criterium racing seen anywhere in the world on show right here in Victoria. The quality fields have seen top ladies such as Melissa Hoskins, Chloe Hosking, Gracie Elvin and Italian stars Giorgia Bronzini and Valentina Scandolara take exciting victories.
Events such as the Bay Cycling Classic just don’t happen. It takes a strong team and some quality partners to make a truly great event. The Bay Classic has had that in spades.
“I would like to congratulate the team at GTR Events for helping elevate the race in recent years and to sincerely thank our commercial partners, local council partners and State Government, most who have been with us for many years, and look forward to working with you all again in the coming years”.
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."