Ocea­nia’s best here for road race ti­tles

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - ALEX LUT­TRELL

AN in­ter­na­tional cy­cling event is set to at­tract the best rid­ers from Ocea­nia to Tas­ma­nia when it vis­its the state for the first time next year.

The 2018 Ocea­nia Road Cy­cling Cham­pi­onships will be held in the North and North West from March 23-25, with 12 ti­tles to be awarded over three days of com­pe­ti­tion.

The cham­pi­onships at­tract the best rid­ers from Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Fiji, Van­u­atu, Tahiti, New Cale­do­nia and Guam, with 500 peo­ple ex­pected to stay be­tween the two re­gions dur­ing the event.

There will be time tri­als and road races across elite, un­der-23 and un­der-19 cat­e­gories sched­uled. The time trial is ex­pected to be held near Evan­dale and the two-day road race near Rail­ton.

The cham­pi­onships have been awarded to Tas­ma­nia af­ter an ex­cit­ing week of rac­ing that saw the Tour of Tas­ma­nia and Stan Sei­jka Clas­sic at­tract some of the big­gest names in the re­gion. Tas­ma­nia was also the host state for the Aus­tralian Ju­nior Road Na­tional Cham­pi­onships this year.

Ocea­nia Cy­cling Con­fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Tracey Gaudry said Tas­ma­nia de­served to host.

“With many suc­cess­ful do­mes­tic cy­cling events, we are de­lighted that the Tas­ma­nian Govern­ment is ac­tively sup­port­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of in­ter­na­tional cy­cling to the State,” Gaudry said.

Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary to the Pre­mier Sarah Court­ney said the Govern­ment com­mit­ted $30,000 to sup­port the event and at­tract vis­i­tors.

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