Three-time world time trial titleholder Michael Rogers will make a two-pronged attack on the Australian open road cycling championships at Ballarat from January 7 to 11. Rogers will contest the 39km men's individual time trial on Thursday, January 8, and also line up in the 163km road race on the Buninyong circuit three days later.
Rogers will have good backup support for the 16-lap road race, as two members of his Columbia trade team, Mark Renshaw and Adam Hansen, will also be competing.
Hansen rocketed to prominence in Australian cycling at the 2008 titles by winning the time trial, before finishing second to the breakaway Matthew Lloyd in the road race. The battle between Queenslander Hansen and Canberra's Rogers in the time trial will be much-anticipated.
The 2008 titleholder, Lloyd, will try to retain his title in Buninyong. "Having experienced the course at close quarters, I would like to think I can hang on to the jersey, but it's one of those circuits where anything can happen," Lloyd said.
Unlike this year, the six events will be conducted over five days of championships. Event director John Craven hopes that the new format will attract record crowds. "The police estimate of the crowd at the men's road race this year was 17,000," he said. "I would expect that number to be surpassed on January 11."
Entries for the national championships close on Monday, December 29.