RIDERS in this year’s Blayney to Bathurst will experience a finish on Mount Panorama’s Pit Straight following a course adjustment to the annual event.
The regular finish for the race has been behind the pits complex but will now mirror that of the course’s motor sport events.
The change was announced in a video released by Bathurst Cycling Classic media featuring the city’s UCI World Tour rider Mark Renshaw.
The adjustment slightly shortens both the 110km and 70km races, removing the ride behind Rydges Hotel and under the bridge at The Chase.
Riders will instead turn left at Havannah Street, head straight through the roundabout at Mount Panorama’s entrance and turn right onto Pit Straight.
Bathurst Cycling Club rider Mark Windsor said the change should make for a picturesque finish.
“A lot of visitors coming to Bathurst recognise Mount Panorama and I feel like they’re going to get a real kick out of finishing on Pit Straight,” he said.
“The back of the pits has been a remarkable place to finish, and great logistically, but finishing on Pit Straight gives them that extra memory. People want that experience when they come to Bathurst.”
The previous finish contained a more technical section of roads, including a tight turn and pinch upon entering the inside of the track.
It was on this section, or earlier during the run behind Rydges, where riders would consider making their move.
Now, Windsor believes, we could see more traditional group sprint finishes in the years to come.
“I think it allows for a fairly non-technical, bunch sprint,” he said.
“The old course used to suit someone like me with those couple of hills, where I’d make my move, but with the tightness of it I can understand that people would want an open, fair sort of finish where everyone can wind up for their sprint.
“I can certainly see that being one of the things they looked at, for sure.”
The Blayney to Bathurst takes place on Sunday March 17. Registration for the event closes on Wednesday March 13.