The world’s second oldest one-day cycling event takes place on Saturday – the 103rd Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic.
After a year off in 2018 one of Australia's favourite domestic cycling classics returns with a new-look course and rejuvenated energy.
The race starts at Avalon Airport at 7.30am and finds it way to Warnnambool's Raglan Parade about seven hours later.
FOR the first time in the 123-year history the final stages of the race will be broadcast live.
The final 40 to 50-kilometres will be streamed live on the big screen at the finish on Raglan Parade, on the National Road Series facebook page and on FoxSport's streaming service Kayo.
Cycling commentator Pat Shaw will be on hand to commentate all the action as it happens.
Road closures will be in force at a numbers of locations on Saturday. Find out all you need to know here.
7:30am: Powercor Melbourne to Warrnambool race start at Avalon Airport
10:00am: Camperdown to Warrnambool Veterans race begins
11:00am: Event Village opens on Raglan Parade, Warrnambool
12:30pm: Camperdown to Warrnambool Veterans race estimated finish on Raglan Parade
1:30pm-2:00pm: South Coast Junior Aquatics Melbourne to Warrnambool Community Bike Ride
2:30pm-3:00pm: Powercor Melbourne to Warrnambool race finish Raglan Parade, Warrnambool
Where to Watch
Carter’s Hill on Hopkins Point Road: This is where riders will head down the hill to cross the Hopkins River bridge after reaching speeds of close to 100km/h.
The Fletcher Jones corner: The riders turn for the home straight along Raglan Parade as they build up for what should be a bunch sprint for the finish line.
Raglan Parade: At the finishing straight, between the Liebig and Banyan street intersections, you can watch the riders battle it out to win line honours. Watch out for a triumphant celebration from the winner passing the finish line.
The race starts for the first time in its history at Avalon Airport and includes Geelong, Winchelsea, Birregurra, Colac, Port Campbell, Peterborough and Allansford before finishing in Warrnambool.
What was once a long, flat 200-kilometre-plus race is now a long, bumpy race with over 1700 metres of climbing.
The exposure to the sea winds will also play a part between Port Campbell to Warrnambool.
On the run into Warrnambool there are a number of 90-degree turns which, if the wind is up, will throw the peloton around and set up the final stages of the race.
The long sprint up Raglan Parade, starting at Fletcher Jones corner, to the finish is still the same and will challenge the riders to hold off their attacks until the latest possible moment.
The Prize Money
The Melbourne to Warrnambool prize pool has gained an extra $1000 to splurge on the winners across the event.
The men's and women's top prize, of $2500 each, remain the same as they were in 2017. The winners and minor placings have all increased in the A, B and C grades and now a prize for the best young rider is on offer.
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