January 4- 8, Ballarat, Ballarat, Road - CN

There's a re-shuffle for Australia's national championships 'weekend' in 2019, with the events based around Ballarat and Buninyong, in Victoria, this year kicking off on Friday, January 4, with the criteriums and ending the following Tuesday with the time trials.

The elite road races keep their position on Sunday, January 6, however, and will host the usual huge crowds as fans cheer on their favourites around the 11.6km circuit that includes the tough climb of Mount Buninyong, covered 16 times by the elite men's race, nine times by the elite and under-23 women, and 12 times by the U23 men the day before.

Expect to see Richie Porte out for a bash at nabbing himself a national champion's jersey in Sunday's road race, riding in his new Trek-Segafredo colours, while there's a new team in 2019 for Porte's former BMC teammate and defending champion Miles Scotson, too, who's made the move to French WorldTour team Groupama-FDJ.

In her first race for US team Tibco-SVB in 2018, local hero Shannon Malseed took the elite women's road race title, but will be up against it in 2019 with Mitchelton-Scott's Amanda Spratt hoping to build on the silver medal she won in the road race at the World Championships at the end of the 2018 season, and add a third national road race title to the ones won in 2012 and 2016 on this same circuit.

With the time trials having moved to become the last races at this year's Nationals, will defending men's TT champion Rohan Dennis – another former BMC man, who lines up for Bahrain-Merida in 2019 – keep his powder dry during Sunday's road race? Having become the time trial world champion in Innsbruck, Austria, in September, a fourth consecutive national TT title, while not easy, will surely be expected.

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