NSW criterium GP series forced to go down to only two events

Organiser Phil Bates hopes series will expand in again in 2012

The NSW criterium Grand Prix series has been forced to scale back their initial five-event schedule initially slated to start on the 23rd of November in Bathurst, due to a lack of financial support from the NSW state government.

After a long period of discussions between the related parties, the decision needed to be made to sustain the viability of the headline events in Wollongong and Cronulla. There had been some hope that the Bathurst event would also remain but the costs proved to be too prohibitive.

"It is disappointing that we could not include some excellent venues of last year, especially Bathurst, Parramatta and Gosford - that was conducted under lights," said organiser Phil Bates. "But a large reduction in funding from the NSW Government prevented us from doing anything but a two race series.

"The most important aspect from our perspective is to maintain an international cycling series in NSW – something that has been missing since the demise of the Women’s World Cup and Tour de Snowy in 2002 and the final staging of the Commonwealth Bank Cycle Classic in 2000, after 19 years of great racing that gave wonderful development to the sport in NSW."

The series will once again be covered comprehensively by the Nine Network with two hours of national live coverage on both the Saturday and Sunday.

"We are in the process of contacting professional stars and internationals as we speak and have also decided to add the Masters category for the first time this year."

The venues of both Cronulla and Wollongong are spectacular locations – Wollongong at Flagstaff Hill and surrounded by ocean, surf and a boat harbour. The 660 metre circuit was a highlight during the Cycle Classic era.

The organisers are seeking interest from the Women, Men and Masters competitors and should direct their enquiries to Phill Bates Sports Promotions on phone 02 95705556 or pbates@cycleclassic.com.au.

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