Returning champions highlight Bay Crits field

Watch the 2023 Citroen Bay Crits from January 1-3 livestreamed on SBS Sport Facebook and SBS Sport Youtube pages.
The hot-dog circuit is back and so are the big names, with the 2014 champion Brenton Jones hoping for a significant send-off to his decorated career. The former Australian Criterium Champion will be bowing out of the sport at the elite level, hoping to end nearly two decades of racing in Australia and Europe with a fairytale finish.
And after guiding TMX-MAKE teammate Blake Quick to victory last year, he would love a swan song that included a step on the podium. Jones, son of event director Karin Jones, will expand his post-career coaching role next year, in unison with his expanding family, with his first child due in mid-January.
“This race has always been a huge part of my life,” said Brenton Jones, “I was here helping my Mum move barricades as a young kid, she has been the event director for a long time, and I got the chance to watch my heroes racing around these exact circuits and it was really inspirational.”
“I have had a terrific journey in cycling, not only winning here in 2014 but racing in Europe including Paris-Roubaix and also winning the National Criterium title, so I am very happy and this would be the perfect swan-song if I can get one of my teammates on the top step of the CITROËN Bay Crits.”
“I think it might be an emotional moment for the family to go through that whole journey and have me finish my selected career on Ritchie Boulevard on the 3rd of January.”

“I think it is a family event and it has been for many years and John is like a father of Bay Crits for me – I think it would be special to race here one last time and I hope the baby comes on the due date ( mid-January) and I will have been racing in a CITROËN Bay Crits jersey.”

Meanwhile, Quick is one of the defending champions present on the startline, with Jayco-AlUla bringing both Quick and women’s champion Ruby Roseman-Gannon to the race after they dominated the event last year.
Past Bay Crits champions will be joined by Commonwealth Games gold medalists, national champions, overseas heroes, Olympians and a host of other superstars with the final teams to be revealed in the coming days.
A reformatted and revitalized junior race series, supported by the Spirit of Tasmania, will also see the best of the emerging teenage talent racing the same circuits as their heroes, and will offer a chance for fans to see the next generation of potential green and gold stars, including Luca Lancaster, son of Olympic Gold medalist Brett Lancaster.

There will be no time for hangovers as the three day event kicks off on New Year’s Day at Eastern Gardens, with a return to that venue (with the race going in the opposite direction) on Monday January 2 and then the big finale at Ritchie Boulevard on Tuesday January 3 with the tight turns of the ‘hot-dog’ track set to showcase some of the tightest and toughest racing in Australia.

“We are excited to have the Bay Crits back to three days to start the year in 2023 – it has been an innovator over the years – taking the race to the people was what it was always about,” said John Trevorrow, the CITROËN Bay Crits Race Director.
“Recognized by National and International participants as the fastest criterium series in the world, the superstars of Australian cycling cut their teeth in the Bay Crits.
“Names such as Cadel Evans, Stuart O’Grady, Robbie McEwen, and, when the women’s Bay Crits were introduced in 1994, it gave riders of the caliber of Kathy Watt, Anna Wilson, Oenone Wood and Rochelle Gilmore the opportunity to show off their class.”
“Last year’s winners Blake Quick and Ruby Roseman-Gannon will be back to defend their titles and they will undoubtedly be pushed by our two stars who are here at the launch, rising young star and current Australian Road Champion Luke Plapp and Commonwealth Games Gold medalist Georgia Baker.”

“We will again be presenting the Damion Drapac Foundation Support Race for men and women who get their chance to display their talents in front of their peers, while paying tribute to an amazing young man that was tragically taken away too early. We also will have masters on show, displaying that they can still produce some serious horsepower at any age.”

“I am especially pleased that we have been able to grow the events for the young stars of the future with the age group events for boys and girls from U11 to U19.
“The racing has always been great, and I’m sure this January we will again witness all the racematazz and entertainment that makes this series so special. And a welcome back to the international voice of cycling with global cycling guru Phil Liggett to be joined by Australia’s own voice Matt Keenan to host each of the three days.”
More than 200 cyclists will compete in the men’s and women’s elite Criterium and support events, across January 1-3, 2023 in Geelong.

This famous event has delivered champions like Caleb Ewan, Robbie McEwen, Chloe Hosking, Amanda Spratt and a host of international stars to the summer crowds, and it’s kicking off the season again in 2023.

How to watch the Bay Criterium Classic on SBS Sport Facebook and Youtube pages

January 1-3 on SBS Sport Facebook and SBS Sport Youtube pages

Bay Criterium Classic Day 1- Elite Women’s and Men’s Races – Eastern Gardens (Clockwise)
15.25 – 17.50 AEDT hon and pages
Bay Criterium Classic Day 2- Elite Women’s and Men’s Races – Eastern Gardens (Anti-Clockwise)
15.55 – 18.10 AEDT hon and pages
Bay Criterium Classic Day 3- Elite Women’s and Men’s Races – Ritchie Boulevard
5.25pm ​​- 6.50pm AEDT hon and pages

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