This year's Australian National Road Cycling Championships (NRCC) will be the cornerstone of a three-week festival of cycling, organisers USM Events have announced. The NRCC, Australia's national championships for riders below the pro/elite level, has joined forces with the Pepper's Hidden Vale Cycle Epic mountain bike race to put together three weeks of riding and racing for riders of all abilities.
The festival starts with the inaugural Caloundra Big Bike Ride on August 28, a 10km, 30km or 50km mass participation fun ride to raise money for Camp Quality.
The following weekend sees the Flight Centre Peppers Hidden Vale Cycle Epic, which this year has been expanded to both Saturday and Sunday September 3 and 4, with shorter races on Saturday open to 5-13 year olds, and a 50km half Epic on Sunday along with the full 100km Epic.
On the road, the Junior National Road Cycling Championships starts the same weekend, beginning ten days of NRCC racing from September 3 to 11 and incorporating the National Club Road Cycling Championships for the elite and junior divisions.
The organisers say they expect even more riders than last year's 1200 competitors to attend this year's events. Prize money has been increased for series winner, under 19, 23 and elite categories.
The juniors and seniors will be utilizing the same courses, tackling the tough hill climbs of Yandina, the fast flowing criterium circuit at Currimundi and the new time trial course at Kawana Waters. The time trial course is part of a recently completed motorway, providing a smooth and very fast course that is expected to be one of the best in the country.