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Jayco Bay Cycling Classic set to Rock

Mark Renshaw is back to defend his title in 2009

Mark Renshaw is back to defend his title in 2009 (Image credit:

The greatest ever gathering of current Australian cyclists will be joined by US and European champions when the 20th Jayco Bay Cycling Classic begins in the Melbourne bay side suburb of Williamstown on Friday, January 2, 2009. The criterium series continues each day for five days in different locations on the Bellarine Peninsula, finishing at Geelong’s Eastern Beach in the evening of Tuesday, January 6.

The five-races-in-five-days series is regarded by many of the cyclists as the toughest criterium series in the world and a great way to begin preparations for the coming professional cycling season in Australia and Europe.

A record entry of 16 teams in the Elite men's field and 11 teams in the Elite women's field make up the best collection of Australian cyclists ever seen racing in Victoria.

Notable Australians in the men's field include six-times series winner Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Baden Cooke, Graeme Brown, Simon Gerrans, Matt Goss, Matt Wilson, defending champion Mark Renshaw, Will Walker, Aaron Kemps and Rory Sutherland.

Also among the men’s entries is a full team from the USA's glamor squad Rock Racing, which is sending the current US professional criterium champion Rahsaan Bahati and the current US junior criterium champion Justin Williams.

Notable entries in the women's field include defending champion and Junior world champion Megan Dunn, Belinda Goss, former series winner Rochelle Gilmore, Australian criterium champion Kirsty Broun and former Canadian champion Gina Grain.

The race commentator will be the ‘voice of cycling’ Phil Ligget.

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