Fresh off his experience at the 2022 UCI Road World Championship in Wollongong, esteemed Race Director and former Australian pro Scott Sunderland has revealed the newly designed courses for the 2023 TAC People’s Ride.
A change of loop direction and some new highlights are on the menu as riders of all ages and abilities have the chance to pedal the very same roads as the world’s elite.
The 35km course provides the perfect introduction for those new to cycling or mass participation rides.
Covering three laps of the Geelong waterfront and the scenic Eastern Park and Botanical Gardens, you will have the chance to immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere of the festival along a predominantly flat course.
“Our 35km course is completely different than the last edition we held in 2020,” Sunderland said.
“There’s the opportunity to complete three laps which is the 35km, but everyone has the option to finish after two or even just the one lap if you are riding with young children.”
Designed with intermediate riders in mind, the 50km course sees the best of the elite courses, including the famed Challambra climb.
After starting in Geelong, it only takes few kilometres to see why the region is a cycling haven. You’ll head along the waterfront and around Eastern Park with views across Corio Bay.
Heading through town and across the Barwon River, you’ll take in the charming farmland and rolling hills of Ceres and Mount Moriac before looping around back to Geelong.
“Our 50km course follows the same route of our Geelong as our elite women’s and men’s races. We’re very excited that the 50km course has the opportunity to take on Challambra – which is a first for this middle-distance option.”
There’s a reason why the 125km is our most popular course – Challambra! Just like the elite men and women in our UCI WorldTour Classics, you can challenge yourself on the punchy 830-metre ascent first made famous in the 2010 UCI Road World Champs.
The race departs from the Geelong Waterfront and charges uphill inland toward Ceres and Moriac before heading southbound to Bells Beach. The course follows the surf coast to Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove before turning back toward Geelong and the waterfront. Turning left at Yarra Street, the celebrated Challambra Crescent awaits riders before heading back to the water, crossing the famous Geelong waterfront finish line and celebrating at the Steampacket Gardens Event Village.
“The great thing about the 125km course is that it’s identical to the elite women’s and men’s – except of course we only ask you to climb Challambra once!”
“It’s also 10km further than our last edition and it’s also a little tougher – so we’re looking forward to welcoming people to take on that challenge early next year.”
The 2023 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will be held from January 27 – January 29, with the TAC People’s Ride set for the Saturday morning (January 28).