The 2013 Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic will once again kick off on January 1 with the season getting off to a cracking start in Geelong, Victoria, Australia.
The three-day event will be held in conjunction with a new-look Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
The iconic criterium series begins on New Years’ Day at Eastern Beach, before moving on to Portarlington on January 2 before finishing in Williamstown on the morning of January 3. That same afternoon the Jayco Herald Sun Tour begins.
Three-time Herald Sun Tour winner John Trevorrow will be the race director for both events, and said it would be the perfect start to the year for some of Australia’s best cyclists.
"These two iconic events have always offered the main opportunity for Australian teams and riders to take on international athletes and have been the starting point for many illustrious careers," he said.
"Running from 1st through 6th of January, the ‘Mitchelton’ summer of cycling will take centre stage in the cycling world. All the best riders and teams in Australia will be joined by international teams in what is a great celebration of the beginning of a new year of cycling."
The Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic has just received a $15,000 funding boost from the Victorian Government’s Significant Sporting Events Program which aims to maintain and develop events in the state.
Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty said that the event was provided economic stimulus in a struggling region while also boosting local sports participation. He said it was important to keep "keep Victoria in the national and international spotlight."
Line-ups are expected to be announced over the coming weeks.
Allan Davis was crowned winner of the elite men’s event in 2012, riding for the GreenEdge composite team Mitchelton Wineries - Lowe Farms. He was the standout performer for the new outfit, and finished first overall after a hugely consistent display. Davis finished third, second, eighth and third on the four stages.
GreenEdge’s Melissa Hoskins took out the elite women’s event, with a narrow victory over teammate Amanda Spratt.