The traditional start to the season is back again in 2013 for the 24th time. The Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic may have a new name and increased cash in the coffers, but the event affectionately known as the 'Bay Crits' is the place for cycling's speed merchants to get the legs turning over after the off-season.
In 2013, the Bay Crits will be reduced by one stage back to three given the event runs back-to-back with the new-look Jayco Herald Sun Tour, but the racing should by no means be diminished.
Kicking off January 1 with the traditional hot dog circuit on Geelong's Ritchie Boulevard, racing will continue the following day in Portarlington with the toughest of all the circuits. The event concludes on January 3 in Williamstown along the shores of Hobsons Bay with tight corners testing what is normally a very nervous peloton.