The Melbourne-based St Kilda Cycling Club will hold a criterium on 23rd December with one of, if not the biggest prize packet seen in recent Australian cycling history. The club which boasts nearly 900 members with more than a quarter represented by women, has said it intends to hand out $30,000 in prize money at the event dubbed the Melbourne Criterium Sprint Championships.
The race will be held on Sunday in just a few weeks time and should see some of the country's best international professionals line-up in the elite event including a number of the top domestic teams. The elite men's race will include 20 intermediate sprints worth $250 with the winner of the elite men's event taking home a slice of $5,000 that will be spread across the podium.
The club's president Anthony Seipolt told Cyclingnews that a number of race categories will be offered with the elite men's and women's race to be the headline events. There will also be a sprint classification and most aggressive category.
"We are talking with some of Australia's most noted professionals and sprinters and we would love to get them on board." said Seipolt to Cyclingnews. However, "the challenge is this is a club event so it can be difficult to attract professionals," he said.
Exact details of the race are still being finalised with Seipolt adding the club would be looking to exceed the current $30,000 commitment in prize money. Champion System and CycleCover are already confirmed as supporters of the event, with a headline sponsor still to be announced. Further information can be found on the club website.