THE Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic will avoid the Princes Highway until Allansford this year in a major shake-up of the event.
Cycling Australia (CA) this week released course profiles for the 118th Classic on October 12, with the peloton to make its way to Warrnambool via Cobden-Warrnambool Road, rather than along Princes Highway.
A CA spokeswoman said it was the first time in “many years” the 260-kilometre race had avoided the Princes Highway.
The spokeswoman said the decision would enhance the quality of the race.
King of the Mountain points will again be up for grabs at the famous Camperdown Lakes and Craters area. But rather than turn right at the end of Sadlers Road, the peloton will go left, travelling to Cobden via Cross Forest Road, Narogid Road and Woodlands Road, before rejoining Camperdown-Cobden Road.
The change means spectators who once lined Terang’s main street will miss out on seeing some of the country’s top cyclists pass through the town.
The Classic will start at the Werribee Park Equestrian Centre, travelling to Warrnambool via Little River, the You Yangs, Lara, Gheringhap, Bannockburn, Teesdale, Shelford, Cressy, Berrybank, Lismore, Camperdown and Cobden.
The 128-kilometre Shipwreck Coast Classic on October 13 has also had a shake-up.
The race will start and finish at the Warrnambool foreshore trust grounds near the mouth of the Hopkins River.
Previously, the race started at Flagstaff Hill and finished at Allansford Cheeseworld.
The CA spokeswoman said the change of start and finish locations would minimise the impact on residents and make it easier for teams to base themselves in one location but still provide stunning seascape images for broadcast.
There is also a separate women’s race for this year’s Shipwreck Coast Classic, which will be held after the men’s race.
The Camperdown to Warrnambool Classic for veterans remains unchanged.
Rolling road closures will be in place while both races are in progress.
Raglan Parade will be closed west-bound between Banyan and Kepler streets from 5.30am until 6.30pm, and from Flaxman Street through to Kepler Street between 10am until 4pm on October 12.
The finish line area at the corner of Raglan Parade and Liebig Street will again feature live music, jumping castles and race commentary.
Entries for both races close on October 6.