National Cycling Championships in Buninyong
Major national cycling tournaments are held in Ballarat and Buninyong each year, bringing in many super-fit cyclists with their support teams and enthusiastic crowds of spectators.
2024 Road Cycling National Championships
3-7 January 2024: Ballarat and Buninyong will celebrate 21 years of Road Nationals
Australia’s road cycling national championships will be back for the last time after 21 years of exciting competitions on the mighty Mount Buninyong circuit. This will be the 18th consecutive year that Ballarat and Buninyong have hosted the championships, and the 21st year since it was first held here in 2002.
Buninyong will be the focus on January 6 and 7 as Australia’s champion riders vie to take out the 2024 road race titles. The fan-favourite live site on Mount Buninyong will be in action with food trucks, music and a big screen making the iconic climb the place to be on the weekend.
Wednesday 3 January
Time Trials -
Thursday 4 January
Time Trials -
Friday 5 January
Sturt Street, Ballarat
Saturday 6 January
Road Races and Gran Fondo -
Warrenheip St, Mt Buninyong circuit
Sunday 7 January
Road Races -
Warrenheip St, Mt Buninyong circuit
See https://www.roadnationals.org.au for news, road closure information, and full program details
2023 Road Cycling National Championships
Road Races in Buninyong: Sat 7 and Sun 8 January 2023
See Road Nationals for event details.
Free community Movie Night, De Soza Park, Saturday 7th January
2022 Road Cycling National Championships, 12-16 January
See Road Nationals for results.
2021 Road Cycling National Championships, 3-7 February
Elite Men and Women's Road Races
Cameron Meyer sneaks across the line in the tightest of finishes, just ahead of Kelland O'Brien and Scott Bowden
Sarah Roy beseiged by well-wishers and cameramen after winning the Elite Women's Road Race, ahead of Grace Brown and Lauretta Hanson
All smiles from the Bike Exchange teams: Luke Durbridge and Cameron Myer(1st); Grace Brown,(2nd) Sarah Roy(1st) and Lucy Kennedy
Saturday 6 February
- from 7:30am - road races, different categories, starting in Warrenheip Street
- 5:15 - Gran Fondo, 5 laps, starting in Warrenheip Street
Free Community Movie Night, DeSoza Park
Live music and food trucks from 5:30; movie "Sonic the Hedgehog", starts at 7:30pm
Sunday 7 February
- 8:50am - U23 & Elite Women, 9 laps, starting in Warrenheip Street
- 12:30pm - Elite Men, 16 laps, starting in Warrenheip Street
See the Road Nationals website for full details of the 2021 Races.
2020 Road Cycling National Championships, January 8-12
Men's Elite Road Race:
- Cameron Meyer
- Lucas Hamilton
- Marcus Culey
Women's Elite Road Race:
- Amanda Spratt
- Justine Barrow
- Grace Brown
Women's Elite Time Trial:
- Sarah Gigante
- Grace Brown
- Emily Herfoss
Men's Elite Time Trial:
- Luke Durbridge
- Rohan Dennis
- Chris Harper
2019 Road Cycling National Championships
Teenager Sarah Gigante staged a stunning win in the Women's Road Race, taking the lead in a breakaway group from the start and holding on to cross the line ahead of champions Amanda Spratt and Sarah Roy. In a thrilling finish to the Men's Championship, Michael Frieberg snuck across the line to beat Chris Harper and Cameron Meyer in a surprise last-minute attack from behind.
For full results of all races, see https://www.roadnationals.org.au/
The early breakaway group in the Women's Championship held two of the final place-getters: Sarah Gigante (second from left) and Sarah Roy, as well as the Queen of the Mountain: Michaela Parsons
Australia's top para-cyclists competed on the tough Mount Buninyong course for the first time in 2019.
The Elite and U23 Women's peleton on Mount Buninyong with Emily Watts, Sydney University Staminade team, in the foreground
2018 Road Cycling National Championships
The 2018 National Road Cycling Races featured a new major sponsor, Fed Uni, a slightly different course, and new categories, community events, activities and participation opportunities for all cyclists and cycling fans.
The Championships welcomed two new categories with Australia’s best U19 and Para-cyclists set to join the U23 and elite in the battle for the coveted green and gold jersey. Australia’s club riders were also able to get involved in the action with the additions of the new Club Teams Time Trial Championships and National Team Relay, while novice cyclists and fans could join in the fun with a host of new rides and activities, including a twilight festival.
2018 Elite Men's Road Race - Finish
Alex Edmondson sprints across the line, ahead of Jay McCarthy, second, and Chris Harper, third, to the applause of the crowd, thrilled by the exciting finish.
2018 Elite Women's Road Race - Finish
The Elite Women's Road Race was won by Ballarat's Sharon Malseed in a very exciting finish, closely followed by Lauren Kitchen, who'd been in the lead for the whole race, and Grace Brown.
Thursday 4th January, a “Lap for Lowndesy” was held around the Nationals course in Buninyong, starting next to DeSoza Park at 8.30am, to honour Jason Lowndes, the popular cyclist tragically killed while training near Bendigo just before Christmas.
Start of the "Lap for Lowndesy"
Read more at http://www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au/news/lap-for-lowndesy-memorial-ride-for-jason-lowndes-at-buninyong-on-thursday-january-4#gSDTC07hep1k109T.99
Races in Buninyong 4 - 7 January 2018
CYCLING EVENT CHANGES Saturday 6 January: Due to the heat the events were rescheduled and concluded at 11:30am.
In summary, the Gran Fondo participation ride was cancelled and all races moved forward, starting from 6.30am.
- Thursday 4 - Friday 5 January: Time Trials, running south to the Dereel-Mt Mercer Rd
- Saturday 6 - Sunday 7 January: Gran Fondo and National Championships on the Mt Buninyong-Fed-Uni circuit (See note above re changes on Saturday)
For full information on these events, see the 2018 FEDUNI ROADNATS website.
2018 Jayco Herald Sun Tour, 2 February
Another big cycling event passed through Buninyong on Friday 2 February. Riders in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour arrived from Warrnambool via Camperdown, Mount Mercer and Durham Lead then did a lap of Mount Buninyong. Warrenheip St (between Barkly St and Midland Highway), and Learmonth St slip lane (between Warrenheip Street and Midland Highway, next to Crown Hotel) were closed 10am-7pm and a detour operated via Barkly St and Lumeah Road for the event. Spectators watched an exciting Stage 2 Race Finish in Warrenheip Street which was narrowly won by Denmarks’s Mads Pedersen.
Buninyong Primary kids turned out in force to cheer on the riders in a thrilling close finish to Day 2 of the 2018 Jayco Herald Sun Tour
The 2017 Road Races were held 4-8 January in Buninyong and Ballarat
Events in Buninyong:
- Thursday 5 January - Individual Time Trial
- Saturday 7 January - Gran Fondo / U23 Road Race
- Sunday 8 January – Men’s and Women’s Road Race
See Cycling Australia for more info.
Road closures, traffic diversions and parking restrictions are in place throughout Buninyong for the safety of the cyclists, spectators and road users. There is still access to the Buninyong shops by crossing the race route at Cornish Street or Barkly Street.
See details of 2016 road closures and traffic detours in the town: Buninyong road closures - Road races, 9-10 January 2016 and Buninyong road closures - Time Trial, 7 January 2016.
2016 Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships, January 6-10, Ballarat and Buninyong
"The Road to Rio for Australia’s road cyclists will begin at the Mars 2016 Cycling Australia Road National Championships from January 6 in Ballarat. The first Australian Championships of the Olympic year will feature a historic new schedule, headlined by the creation of a ‘Super Sunday’ line up that is set to reach the biggest broadcast audience in the event’s history", said Cycling Australia.
Buninyong came to life on Thursday 7 January with "the race of truth", the Individual Time Trial on the Buninyong-Mt Mercer circuit. Then the iconic Mt Buninyong circuit was once again the perfect backdrop for the weekend’s racing action.
Thursday 7 January - Individual Time Trial, Buninyong-Mt Mercer circuit
- U23 Men 29.3km - 10:30am
- U23 & Elite Women 29.3km - 12:30pm
- Elite Men 40.9km - 2:15pm
Rohan Dennis powers away from the starting ramp; Richie Porte pushes hard up the last hill to the finish; Returning riders pass the 500 metre mark on the home stretch
On the Podium: U23 Women: 1. Emily Roper 2. Ellen Skerritt 3. Jennelle Crooks Elite women: 1. Katrin Garfoot 2. Shara Gillow 3. Tiffany Cromwell Elite men: 1. Rohan Dennis 2. Richie Porte 3. Sean Lake
For full results see: Live Results-Cycling Australia
Saturday 9 January - Gran Fondo / U23 Road Race
Some of the 260 Gran Fondo riders swooping past the Crown Hotel and the Old Buninyong Library
Saturday 9 January - Road Race, Mt Buninyong circuit
Sunday 10 January - Road Race, Mt Buninyong circuit
- U23 & Elite Women 102km - 8am
- Elite Men 183.6km - 11:50am
Elite women cruise past the Crown Hotel and the Buninyong Town Hall before the climb to Mt Buninyong; Amanda Spratt faces the media after her win; Jack Bobridge with a sensational nine-minute break in his lonely but triumphant solo ride at the head of the race; Elite women on the podium; Elite men's pelaton starts the long hard grind up Mt Buninyong;
Jack Bobridge crosses the line on his own and is congratulated by second-place getter, Cameron Meyer (final 5 images of Jack Bobridge courtesy of GEM TV)
For full results see: Live Results-Cycling Australia
2015 Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships
8 and 10-11 January 2015
Left: Cadel Evans warms up before the start of the Elite Men's Road Race in Buninyong
Buninyong buzzed with hundreds of cyclists and fans during the 2015 Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships, 8 and 10-11 January 2015. See Cycling Australia for race results and more info.
Below: The Start of the 2015 Women's Road Race with winner, Peta Mullins of Bendigo, near the front of the pelaton
The winning breakaway group at the start of the final lap of the 2015 Elite Men's Road Race, showing third place-getter Neil Van Der Ploeg looking anxiously over his shoulder at his rivals including Heinrich Haussler who won and rising star Caleb Ewan who was a close second.
See Cycling Australia for full results.
2010 Scody Australian Open Road Cycling Championships, 6-10 January 2010
Buninyong hummed in the heatwave as hundreds of super-fit cyclists flashed past crowds of spectators during the Scody Australian Open Road Cycling Championships in January.
The 102 km Women's Elite Road Race was won in punishing heat by Ruth Corset, Qld, in 3h:10:09; with Bridie O'Donnell, Vic, second; and Judith Arndt of Germany third.
On another scorcher, the 163 km Men's Elite Road Race was won by Travis Meyer, WA, in 4h:26:31; with David Kemp, Qld, second; and Damien Turner of Ballarat third.
2009 Scody Australian Open Road Cycling Championships, 7th - 11th January
Start of the 2009 Women's Road Race (102Km)
The 102 Km Women's Open Road Race was won by Carla Ryan (time: 3:3:07) and the 163 Km Men's Open was won by Peter McDonald (time: 4h 10:34).
2008 Australian Open Road Cycling Championships
2007 Australian Open Road Cycling Championships
2008 Australian Cycling Grand Prix
The 2008 Men's and Women's Victorian Open Road championships were held on the National Open Road Cycling Course in Buninyong on Sunday 17 August 2008 as part of the 2008 Ballarat Australian Cycling Grand Prix.
Left: Lisa Jacobs, cooling down after the 2008 women's road race. Right: The men start the first lap of their race.