Opening round of NSW Grand Prix officially launches in Wollongong

Sutton, Kersten, Law and Gilmore all confirmed to race

The opening round of the NSW Grand Prix series in Wollongong is now just over two weeks away and at the launch to the 2011 event organiser Phil Bates confirmed several big names he expects to be lining up for the November 26 start.

Chris Sutton (Sky), Ben Kersten and Scott Law (Jayco-2XU) as well as Commonwealth Games women's road race champion Rochelle Gilmore will all be in attendance, with many more riders set to be announced in the next few days.

Sutton returns to the domestic racing scene after a big season in Europe that saw him take victory at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne before a career best stage win at the Vuelta a Espana.

Though Wollongong has never hosted an event in the GP Series, it was a feature of the Tooheys Grand Prix series in 1985 and the internationally acclaimed Commonwealth Bank Cycle Classic in the 80s and 90s.

Bates added that he felt the beach side setting made Wollongong amongt the best places for criterium racing in Australia.

"There are few more exciting and picturesque courses in Australia than Wollongong with the beach, the lighthouse, the parklands, the ocean and boat harbour providing a spectacular back drop."

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery OAM said the event will give locals a rare chance to see many of Australia's European based professionals up close.

"Wollongong welcomes the opportunity to host a Grand Prix cycling event on Flagstaff Hill,” Councillor Bradbery said. "I encourage all community members and visitors to the city to enjoy the cycling events featuring World Champion cyclists like Wollongong’s own Ben Kersten, Scott and Jackson Law."

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