Bathurst Cycling Classic
12-14 March 2021
Bathurst hill climb to ascend famous mountain track
For the first time, the hill climb at the Bathurst Cycling Classic will be contested on the famous motor racing track of Mount Panorama.
The Bathurst Tour will begin on Friday, 12 March with a new-look hill climb up the hallowed tarmac of Mount Panorama. Riders will compete to be fastest to the top of the Mount, starting from Pit Straight and finishing at Brock’s Skyline.
Previous editions of the event used a service road adjacent to the race track. Next year, however, riders will start on Pit Straight itself before turning left into Hell Corner and heading directly up the climb, just like the cars in the 1,000-kilometre motor race.
Mountain Straight is a steady 4% rise, but the toughest challenge will come through the twists and turns of Griffins Bend and The Cutting. At over 8%, the average gradient there makes for a leg-sapping stomp to the top of the Mount.
Once through the bends, the final 750 metres is a flat dash to the line, finishing right above the Hollywood-esque “Mount Panorama” sign.
Competitors will ascend a total of 170 vertical metres and will be rewarded with breathtaking views over the Bathurst region — plus a thrilling descent down the mountain to cool down.
The hill climb, sponsored by local bike shop Renshaw’s Pedal Project, will be Stage 1 of the new Bathurst Tour stage race. The overall classification will be decided on points earned by placing in each of the three stages, including the
Stage 2 criterium and Stage 3 road race.
“Rather than running it like the Tour de France which runs on time for each stage, it will be run on a points system,” said Graham Seers, Cycling NSW CEO. “If it was done on time, the hill climb would mean the gaps started early and people might stop racing, but by having it as a points set-up, it will stay competitive right through until the end of the Sunday.”
Saturday sees riders return to the Mount Panorama pit complex for a fast four-corner criterium, which should suit the sprinters.
Finally, the Bathurst Tour will conclude on Sunday with a 100-kilometre road race starting and finishing in Bathurst — the B2B. This lumpy stage will take in the climbs of Mount Panorama and Rockley Mount before looping around on country roads to return to Bathurst’s town centre.
Each rider’s overall result will be decided by a point score earned by placing highly in each stage. More than $15,000 in prizes will be awarded across the weekend.
The Bathurst Tour will be contested across three men’s and three women’s divisions on 12–14 March 2021. Non-Tour participants can also ride in the hill climb as standalone recreational time trial.
“By having three different disciplines in one event, the Bathurst Tour will suit a wide range of riders,” said Cycling NSW CEO Graham Seers. “Climbers, sprinters and all-rounders will all have a shot at overall or stage success.”
“After everyone was starved of racing earlier in 2020, we’re glad to bring back stage racing to NSW with the support of Bathurst Regional Council,” Seers said.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, entries for the Bathurst Tour are strictly limited to 50 riders per division. Riders who register after capacity is reached will be put on a waitlist until a free slot opens up in their chosen division.