Australian Open Championships - CN

Ballarat, Victoria, January 10-13, 2002

2001 Results    Past Winners

The Races

*Note: All races start at 11:00am

O'Grady & hungry for open crown

David McKenzie's squad and Tour de France star Stuart O'Grady are set for battle in the Australian open men's road race championships at Buninyong on Sunday, January 13. Speaking after winning the fourth round of the Bay series crit, McKenzie said, "Everyone knows it's a big deal to have a national champion in your team and we will be doing everything to win one."

But Stuart O'Grady is also hungry to succeed in his fourth attempt at the championship that has eluded the South Australian since it was introduced into Australian cycling at Portarlington in 1999. O'Grady believes the tough Mt. Buninyong circuit, near Ballarat, should suit his style.

"I am doing a fair few kilometres at the moment, and want to be up there," he said. "I just hope I've got the form to match it."

O'Grady, who held the leader's and sprint jerseys at the same time in the 2001 Tour de France, has trained up to 200kms a day for the past two weeks.

His best placing in the open championship so far was second to West Australian Henk Vogels in 1999, but he has always maintained that the Portarlington circuit was not tough enough for such a high calibre event.

The move to Buninyong this year follows representation to Cycling Australia by the City of Ballarat, Tourism Victoria, First National Real Estate, and Moorabool Shire Council.

The championships have been expanded to four days, starting on Thursday, January 10.

All races start and finish at the Buninyong Post office in Warrinheip Street.

The women's road race will take in 10 laps of the Mt. Buninyong circuit, with the men's race extended to 18 laps.

More than 200 of Australia's best riders will strive to win the four championships on offer.

Riders will also come from Great Britain, New Zealand, Canada, Holland and Switzerland.

O'Grady's rivals in the men's road race will include Great Britain's Jeremy Hunt, winner of the 2000 Australian open championship, and last year's winner Steve Williams, of NSW.

Top-rated rider among the women's entries is 2001 World Cup champion Anna Millward.

Millward is recovering from an operation but has the class to maybe win the double in Buninyong.

Past Winners

Men's Road race
2001 Steve Williams (NSW)
2000 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) (Australian champion: Jamie Drew)
Women's Road race

2001 Katie Mactier (Vic)
2000 Anna Wilson (Vic) Saturn
Women's time trial
2001 Anna Millward
2000 Tracey Gaudry
1999 Kristy Scrymgeour