Date set for 2019 Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic

PEDAL POWER: Former Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic riders Nadine O’Connor and Nathan Elliott at the 2019 launch at Avalon. Picture: Con Chronis
PEDAL POWER: Former Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic riders Nadine O’Connor and Nathan Elliott at the 2019 launch at Avalon. Picture: Con Chronis

A summer date is expected to give a new-look Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic a major profile boost.

The iconic one-day road race, which was last run in October 2017, will return for its 103rd edition on February 16 next year.

Melbourne to Warrnambool Road Race Cycling Committee chairman Shane Wilson said Cycling Victoria “wants to put the Melbourne to Warrnambool where it deserves to be”.

Wilson said the event, which was launched in Avalon on Friday, would benefit from its new timeslot.

“At that time of year, cycling is on the back page of newspapers, it’s just going to be sensational,” he said.

“Cycling Victoria understands how iconic the Melbourne to Warrnambool is. It really is the most respected one-day classic in Australia.

“We’ve been pushing hard and they’ve been trying to do what they can with the calendar to get it in there when all the very best cyclists are in Australia.

“You’ve got the nationals in Ballarat, you then roll into the Tour Down Under and then that goes into Cadel (Evans’ race) and then the Herald Sun (Tour) and then there’s going to be us.

“You’ll get your best Aussies and your fairshare of Europeans in there.”

Wilson said an exciting course, which will start at Avalon instead of Werribee as per recent years but preserve the race’s 275km distance, would be announced in coming weeks.

He said it would “show off the very best of the area”.