Author Topic: Bathurst Cycling Classic Competitor numbers down in 2021  (Read 4630 times)


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Bathurst Cycling Classic Competitor numbers down in 2021
« on: March 11, 2021, 03:14:10 PM »
Why the Bathurst Cycling Classic B2B weekend is the best of its kind:
But competitor numbers intentionally down in 2021:

Only around 700 competitors for the Bathurst Cycling Classic in 2021, which is less than half the numbers of previous years. However this reduction in numbers was an intentional move by the organisers, who had to account for the Covid19 Pandemic in pre-race planning.

The popular short course event was dropped for 2021 in an effort to ensure social distancing, while the Tour format which will be used in 2021 can only cater for much smaller numbers due to the field having to split into seeded divisions of around 50 competitor maximum to hold the Criterium stage which is to be held in the Mt Panorama pit complex on the Saturday.

On top of that the dropping of the State Champion titles for the Hill Climb and the event dropping off the World Series also shows the scaling back of the event in 2021.

Of course the big question is - Will organisers be able to return the event to its original size after the Pandemic?

The weekend was the first of its kind run by Cycling Australia and initial predictions where that it would grow to a Gran Fondo of around 10,000 people. One thing that prediction didn’t take into account was the flood of opposition events that would develop in the Gran Fondo category concept.

Amy’s Ride in Victoria was given first crack at the World Series classification although starting after the Bathurst Cycling Classic B2B (/O2B) Challenge. Then the new Brisbane Grand Fondo even pushed the Bathurst event off its preferred date. Since then, new events are springing up everywhere.... all looking to take the premier cycling mass participation reputation away from the Bathurst Cycling Classic B2B weekend.

Sadly few people realise that the Bathurst Cycling B2B Classic is the granddaddy of the UCI Gran Fondos & Cyclo Sportifs in Australia.. and it’s the history is what makes the Bathurst event the number one participation cycling event in Australia. Competitors & Organisers need to be reminded they are not only riding and working on Cycling Australia’s oldest participation event, but it is using the country’s most historic cycling roads; with the course using roads that have been used for cycling events since the 1880s. It is truely unique that the Vale Road first hosted Road Cycling Events in the 1880s and the Bathurst Cycling Classic still uses it today...
« Last Edit: March 11, 2021, 05:38:53 PM by Mark »


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Re: Bathurst Cycling Classic Competitor numbers down in 2021
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2021, 05:51:21 PM »
Take a minute to think about where you are riding....
This is part of my preview of the amazing Bathurst Cycling Classic Course

You may have raced the new Mark Renshaw designed Bathurst Cycling Classic course but did you notice the surrounds; the new course is not only set on amazing Aussie Bush roads but is historically very significant. A quiet training ride around the course will not only feature breath-taking views but the history is remarkable.

Of course the event start is at Bathurst’s famous Kings Parade with its spectacular Court House, Carillion, Museum, Hotels, and Church & Bell Tower. Bathurst celebrated its 200th Birthday in 2015 and is Australia’s first inland city so the history in the first kilometres of both 100km & 50km Bathurst Cycling Classic course is everywhere. For example as you crest the first climb of the day at the top of William Street you will ride past Australian Pioneer James Rutherford first Bathurst home before moving to larger Hereford homestead. Rutherford is famous as one of the greatest country entrepreneurs developing Cobb & Co which opened up Australia by significantly dropping travel times and joining the capital cities with the outback, Cobb&Co was as big as the internet in the mid 1800s. James Rutherford also had an interest in the world first bicycles "the Velocipedes" see that story below.

Moving out of the built up area you will ride past the Government Departments and the Education facilities including the large Charles Sturt University site which sits on the very historic Bathurst Agricultural Research Station site. While across the road the NSW Government’s Spatial Services building provides the databases to manage the state’s infrastructure. Initially known as the Central Mapping Authority the relocation of the departments to form this authority in the 1970s was one of the major success stories of the government de-centralisation strategies of the 1970s. While it is important to note that the Authority was an initial sponsor of the Bathurst Cycling Classic in its early stages.

Then the long course get to ride Mt Panorama with the amazing Brock Skyline.. with its new Sky Walk!

To race or ride around Mt Panorama is special; it is world famous, an icon of Australian sport, the climb up the mountain surprises everyone but Brock Skyline is incredible. The car drivers describe dropping off Skyline like jumping out into the skies above Bathurst. But to get Skyline you have to climb the Mountain, especially the dreaded cutting, it’s tough, but as you come out of it, look over the concrete fence to see the old Mt Panorama Amphitheatre, it’s just a hole in the ground but in 1983, over 3000 paid to cram in there, (& heaps more freeloaders after they set fire and pushed over the fences). It was more than a concert, it was a party, and after Cold Chisel, Choir Boys etc finished playing, the infamous Bathurst Riot started, with motor racing at Bathurst changing forever.

Just before the magical Brock Skyline you will can see a small building with a police sign on it; it was the focal point of the 1983 riots where Police feared for their lives as race fans surrounded it, then cut power and threw explosives at it. One officer breaking his foot kicking a stick of Gelignite out of the compound.

The Esses featuring the Dipper and Forest Elbow are fun but scary and take you onto one of the fastest bits of tar in the world Conrod Straight. The is a million stories about the 6.2 kms around Mt panorama, including many cycling tales after UCI Vice President Martin Whitely promoted numerous event on the mountain featuring many national champions and indeed an Olympic Gold Medallist. His longest running Mt Panorama cycling promotion was the Panorama 600 consisted of 100 laps around the circuit.

The Bathurst Cycling Classic moves off Mt Panorama to Lloyds Road where the Bathurst Cycling Club once held its Bathurst Road Championships in front of the old All-Hallows School Build which was a boarding school for Infants and Primary School aged kid, (My How Times Have Changed). Both long and short courses then heading to Gorman Hill Road where the Bathurst Cycling Classic uses the old Vale Racing Circuit. While Mt panorama is unrivalled as Australia’s great motor racing circuit, back in the 1930’s it was the Old Vale Circuit that held Australia’s biggest motor sport. You will cycle along the historic Pitt Straight, then Wrights Corner, Tamar Straight, before climbing up The Bluff and on to the Devils Elbow to turn onto the Lagoon road.

Those aware of the history of white settlement in Australia will realise we have been roughly following the famous Coxs Road commissioned by the Father of Australia Governor Macquarie in 1813 to open up inland Australia after Blaxland Wentworth and Lawson discover a path across the Blue Mountains. Deputy-Surveyor of Land George William Evans extended the trio’s path to the Bathurst plains and in July 1814 Lieutenant Cox started work on the Cox Road which was completed in 6 months for Governor Macquarie and his official party to cross the Mountains and proclaim Bathurst in 1815. While you are riding keep an eye out for the signs pin pointing the historic Cox’s Road which you are effectively riding on in both long and short Bathurst Cycling Classic courses.

Both courses don’t make Ben Chifley Dam, as they turn off at lagoon, which is famous in Australia for Standardbred racing (The Trots). The Bathurst Cycling Classic actually riding through the middle of Turnbull’s stables and right-past the legendary champ pacer Hondo Grattan’s grave. The Bathurst Community loved this horse, hailing the great champion with a huge civic reception in 1974 on his return to Bathurst after winning his second inter Dominion Championship.

Both courses now turn on to the Rockley Road and a piece of road that is legendry in local Bathurst cycling and has been a part of the Blayney to Bathurst course since its introduction, although going in the opposite direction. The direction used to climb Rockley Mt in 2020 is the most renowned Cycling Climb in the district mainly due to the long running Rockley Race, however this climb was used for the Elite Women State Hill Climb Championship in 2003.

It is at the top of this Climb that the 100km and 50km courses spilt with the short course turning down the Cow flat decent and the 100km course heading to the village of Rockley. Both courses do roll over the range and Mt Everndon and it is hear that you can really appreciate the untouched areas on this ride; areas that predate white civilisation. While I talk of the history on this ride, really I am only going back 200yrs at the most, so when you get to notice the beauty of our classic Aussie florae and wildlife, we can really appreciate the work of the traditional owners, the Wiradyuri, who maintained this environment for thousands of years. I talk of Mt Panorama, but that name has only existed for around 80yrs, it was The Bald Hills before that, but obviously the indigenous name of Wahluu could be thousands of years old. My knowledge only goes back a couple of hundred years but I look forward to learning more.. yes there is much to see and much to learn on this ride.

See full course history and race history on Website.
Also hear the History of Cycling on Mt Panorama Podcast here --
« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 12:11:16 AM by Mark »


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Re: Bathurst Cycling Classic Competitor numbers down in 2021
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2021, 07:53:50 PM »
Bathurst Cycling Classic B2B (and O2B) Honour Roll
The Development of the Bathurst Cycling Classic has been quite a journey as the event started as a race between Orange and Bathurst starting at Orange’s Jack Brabham Park and finishing on the outskirts of Bathurst adjacent to the Old Cattle Yards for the Keith Evans Challenge Shield. The start was later moved to Blayney and the Blayney to Bathurst Cyclo Sportif (nab B2B) would be established before starting and finishing in Bathurst for the Bathurst Cycling Classic. 
Orange to Bathurst Club Challenge (1990 – 1999)
1990 Rob Stephen… 1999 Mark Renshaw

Orange to Bathurst City Vs Country Challenge and O2B Cyclo Sportif
2000 – Michael Allotta Female Rosemary Hastings
2001 - Mark Windsor Female Toireasa Ryan
2002 - Kane Bennan Female Meg Windsor
2003 - Ben Isakson Female Jess Ridder
2004 - Andrew Carter Female Jess Ridder

B2B Cyclo Sportif / nab B2B / Bathurst Cycling Classic
2005 - Shaun Higgerson Female Amanda Spratt
2006 - Glenn Stojanow Female Judith May
2007 - Peter McDonnald Female Katie Jones /Judith May (Div1winner) *
2008 **Wave Start Andrew Crawley Female Megan Dunn
2009 - Dean Windsor Female Tanya Newton
2010 - Cameron Peterson Female Yoni Cross
2011- Philip Grenfell Female Myfanwy Galloway
2012 - Extreme-Men -Michael Curran  Female Janet Martin
2012 - Long Course- Men -Ben Kersten Female Sarah Roy
2013 - Michael Jaeger Female Sarah roy
2014 - Josh Berry Female Lynne Clarke
2015 - Troy Herfoss Female Lynne Clarke
2016 – Dylan Sunderland Female Lucy Bechtel
2017 - Dylan Sunderland Female Lucy Bechtel
2018 - Matthew Dinham Georgia Whitehouse *Confusion both events
2019 - Samuel Hill Female Rebecca Wiasak
2020 - Samuel Hill Female Emily Watts

Short Course
2006 - Tim Guy Blair Windsor Female Gail Johnston
2007 - Lachlan Morton Female Toireasa Ryan/Lindy Hou
2008 - Lachlan Morton Female Gracie Elvin
2009 - Stewart Campbell Female Winner - Gail Johnston
2010 - Steve Bennett Female Jodie Martin
2011 - Patrick Sharpe Female Jodie Martin
2012 - Bradley Heffernan Female Jodie Martin
2013 - Steve Bennett Female Lisa Keeling
2014 - Ryan O'Donnell Female Nicola Macdonald
2015 - Mark Windsor Female Nicola MacDonald
2016 – Stephan Cuff Female Chloe Heffernan
2017 - Stewart Campbell Female Kirsten Howard
2018 - Lincoln Hey Female Kirsten Howard
2019 - Luke Deasey Female Hollee Simons
2020 - Brayden Bloch Female Josie Talbot


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Re: Bathurst Cycling Classic Competitor numbers down in 2021
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2021, 12:12:11 AM »
Bathurst the Home of Cycling in NSW.
Pioneer James Rutherford’s old home is at the top of the first hill on the Bathurst Cycling Classic B2B course.
And I expect the spirits of the Rutherfords will be cheering the riders over the top of the hill as he was involved in the first bicycles in NSW and maybe also the first bicycle race in the 1860s..

Initially Cobb & Co was setup in Melbourne when four American businessman attempted to bring Wells Fargo and the Adams Express Co to Australia, this resulted in Freeman Cobb setting up a coach service to the gold field which proved very successful. James Rutherford then headed a syndicate that took over Cobb and Co when Freeman Cobb returned to the states to become the Senator for Massachusetts. Rutherford then expanded the business into the other states and moved to whole operations to Bathurst (which was situated at the bottom of William Street near the river).

In the 1860s Cobb & Co had opened up Australia with its rapid stagecoach transport system…. but interestingly Rutherford had also became aware of the bicycle movement and the local press report that Cobb and Co had invested in a Velocipede in the late 1860’s…

Indirectly James Rutherford was also involved in the creation of at least another of these bicycles as his Cobb and Co business had brought many top Blacksmiths to Bathurst and a local photographer Mr W R George contracted one of them to build him a Velocipede from a photo.

Mr George became an important figure in NSW cycling and is referred to as the father of Cycling in some publications as he became a top cycling official with the NSW Cyclist Union and the Sydney Bicycle Club, it is claimed that bike he built in Bathurst was considered as the first in the colony. There is talk also of a race of these Bathurst Velocipedes in the late 1860s which would make it one of the first bicycle races in the world and certainly in Australia, (although the first race in Australia is generally accepted to have been in Melbourne around this time).