A PROPOSAL to move the Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic from its traditional October timeslot without consultation has angered the race’s south-west custodians. The sport’s top body, Cycling Australia, wants to move the 122-year-old race to an April timeslot in a bid to shore up its economic and competitive future.
It means the race will not take place in 2018.
Instead, it will return in autumn 2019 in a move which Cycling Victoria chief executive Paul Jane hopes will draw more international riders and ease pressure on sponsors.
“The reality is a lot of our sponsors are working on a financial year, and to run the event twice in a financial year is a significant ask,” Jane told The Standard.
Jane said the race was still an “integral” feature on the sport’s calendar.
Warrnambool Citizens’ Road Race Committee president Brendan Gleeson said he was “very disappointed” in a high-profile executive who discussed details of the changes in an interview with a cycling blog before the committee was aware.
“We’re disappointed with Kipp Kaufmann, who is Cycling Australia’s general manager of sport,” Gleeson said.
“It’s not a given change – we’re the custodians of the race and changes should be discussed and agreed upon.
“Someone in town phoned me and told me. It was the first I’d heard of it.”
Cycling Victoria and the Warrnambool-based committee will meet for talks on Thursday.