The release of the provisional 2017 National Road Series (NRS) calendar has revealed an increase in race days for both the men and women in a February to November season. Four new events and the return of the Tour of Goldfields and Battle on the Border has increased the overall calendar from 41 to 58 race days in 2017. There will be 33 race days for the men's peloton and 25 for the women's peloton.
In 2017, four new races have been added to the NRS calendar and help boost the race days, although the Santos Women's Tour and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race have been removed from the women's race programme due to the UCI status of both races.
One of the new events on the 2017 NRS calendar is the women's Melbourne to Warrnambool which will be held 14 October on the same day as the men's race. It is one of six races in 2016 that features both a men and women's edition.
"Cycling Australia has been encouraged by the interest from promoters and teams in the 2017 season and with their commitment, we have secured an increase of events and total days of racing for both men and women," Cycling Australia CEO Nick Green said in a release. "It's great to see four more dual events in 2017, including the addition of men's racing to the Amy's Otway Tour, with the women to race the iconic Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic for the first time.
"And in what is a truly national series, six states and territories will see men's and women's racing next season."
The one-day Goulburn to Sydney, first ran in 1902, was removed from the NRS calendar after the cancellation of the 2013 edition due to safety concerns but will return in 2017 as the rebranded 'Camden to Goulburn' which also runs reverse to the original parcours. The race is one of three one-day races in the men's NRS calendar alongside Grafton Inverell and Melbourne to Warrnambool. The return of the Battle on the Border after a one-year absence in a further boost to NSW racing for 2017.
The women's 2017 NRS season will begin at the Tour of East Gippsland in February, with the men's calendar kicking off with the Battle on the Border in late-April and concluding with the Tour of Tasmania which moves to a later November date. The date for the women's Tour of Goldfields race is yet to be decided with the Tour of Margaret River a likely season finale for the women in November.
Cycling Australia are currently in negotiations for a 2017 NRS broadcast partner.
2017 National Road Series Calendar
18-19 February, Tour of East Gippsland,VIC (Women)
29 April - 1 May, Battle on the Border, NSW (Men & Women)
6-7 May, Tour of South West, VIC (Women)
12-14 May, Mersey Valley Tour, TAS (Women)
13 May, Grafton Inverell, NSW (Men)
26-30 July, Tour of the Great South Coast, VIC & SA (Men)
25-27 August, Tour of the King Valley, VIC, (Men & Women)
10 September, Camden to Goulburn, NSW (Men)
16-17 September, Amy's Otway Tour, VIC (Men & Women)
22-24 September, National Capital Tour, ACT (Men & Women)
14 October, Melbourne to Warrnambool, VIC (Men & Women)
18-22 October, Tour of Gippsland, VIC (Men)
10-12 November, Tour of Margaret River, WA (Men & Women)
17-22 November,Tour of Tasmania,TAS (Men)
TBC, Tour of Goldfields, VIC (Women)