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Cycling Australia Road National Championships 2020

The podium in the elite men's Australian national road race (l-r): Chris Harper (Team BridgeLane), Michael Freiberg (Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) and Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott)

The podium in the elite men's Australian national road race (l-r): Chris Harper (Team BridgeLane), Michael Freiberg (Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) and Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott) (Image credit: Con Chronis / Cycling Australia)

There's another re-shuffle to the programme for the 2020 Cycling Australia Road National Championships, which take place in Buninyong and Ballarat – a couple of hours' drive north-west of Melbourne – in early January.

The time trials have switched back from being the last event on the programme, as they were in 2019, to being the first races on the schedule, kicking the championships off on January 8.

There's an all-new course for the TTs, too, with an out-and-back course taking the riders through Federation University in Ballarat, with all elite and under-23 events doing two laps of the new course to make them more spectator-friendly than ever.

The criteriums on January 10 give the sprinters a chance to show what they can do on the downtown Sturt Street circuit in Ballarat ahead of what is arguably the main event, or events: the road races on the weekend of January 11 and 12.

First up are the U23 men on the Saturday, covering the now traditional 11.6km road-race circuit 12 times, which means 12 ascents of the short-but-sharp Mount Buninyong, which soon starts to take its toll.

The elite/U23 women and elite men race on the Sunday, with the women taking on nine laps of the circuit – 104.4km – and the men taking on 16 laps for a race total of 185.6km.

Last year's men's road race saw Pro Racing Sunshine Coast's Michael Freiburg get the better of Chris Harper (Team BridgeLane) and Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott), while women's road race winner Sarah Gigante (Roxsolt Attacker) – just 18 at the time of her victory – outfoxed Mitchelton-Scott duo Amanda Spratt and Sarah Roy, and should be back to try to defend her title in the new year.

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