Renowned as the worlds 'fastest criterium racing' the 2022 Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits return as the first cycling event of the New Year,
when it will see pedal power meeting electric power!
After a two-year break the Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits return with a fan-friendly two-day event, before gearing up to be back in full in 2023, and the presence of Australian cycling royalty will ensure ferocious racing next month.
The event was launched this morning at the Geelong Novotel and will be held at Geelong's EASTERN GARDENS on Saturday January 8th 2022 and Sunday January 9th 2022
First held in 1989, The Bay Crits has been an innovator over the years - taking the race to the people is what it has always been about. The superstars of Australian cycling cut their teeth in the Bay Crits. Names such as Cadel Evans, Stuart O'Grady, Robbie McEwen, Brad McGee, Baden Cooke and Caleb Ewan and later in the women's Kathy Watt, Anna Wilson, Oenone Wood, Rochelle Gilmore and Tracey Gaudry.
This year our naming rights sponsor LEXUS OF BLACKBURN will help the 'Bay Crits' go GREEN with the lead car a brand-new electric Lexus UX 300e, reducing the carbon footprint of the event and a healthy event now taking on the social responsibility of a healthy globe.
‘Pedal Power Meets Electric Power’ - With no harmful tailpipe emissions, the UX 300e is helping to protect the planet while maintaining power and performance. On the road, fast-charging DC stations fully charge the vehicle in about 80 minutes. And our launch superstars inspected the new vehicle that will be leading the 'electrifying' racing!
Former national time trial champion GRACE BROWN (currently Team BikeExchange, in 2022 FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) leads an all-star women's field and can't wait to race in front of Australian crowds:
"This is my first experience here and I'm excited to be here and be back in January. It's a really important event to see where the form is at coming into the Nationals and this is an iconic race on the calendar and its great to have it back. Looking forward to racing in the Lexus of Blackburn black, and then getting into my new team for the rest of 2022."
The men’s race will feature Olympic Bronze Medallist LUCAS PLAPP (INEOS Grenadiers), one of the brightest young stars of Australian cycling who will be racing his first full season as a professional. He will begin his journey with the Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits and expects the competition will be tough:
"I'm riding with the defending champions the Lexus of Blackburn team, Sam Welsford won a few years ago and it was awesome to have the track team here and we are are coming back again and we have great history here. It was terrific to kick off the year, and we are going to have a great squad again. I used to love coming to the Bay to watch the races, I remember seeing Caleb Ewan win and it's a special honour roll."
Race Director JOHN TREVORROW has laid out a parklands course that will test the riders, with a clockwise course Saturday and the opposite direction on Sunday:
"It will be a great race and both course offer different challenges, that hill is a ripper - it's just wonderful to be able to get the event back in front of the people after the crazy and challenging two years we have all had to endure with Covid.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank my amazing sponsors especially our naming rights partner Lexus of Blackburn. I would also like to welcome back PSC Insurance Group - the City of Greater Geelong has hosted the Bay Crits right back to the initial event and the State Government has supported us for nearly as long.
"It's huge to have it back with some great riders, have a look at these two stars - I am looking forward to January 8 and hope the sun is shining down on all of us."
The event is thankful for the support of the Victorian Government and Minister for Sport MARTIN PAKULA - they know how important this is for the greater Victorian cycling community to again offer summer crowds a chance to see elite riders in action.
The City of Greater Geelong plays host to this event, now into its fifth decade and Councillor Peter Murrihy said:
"It was exciting to see the Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits return to Greater Geelong, showcasing the remarkable skill and athleticism of some of the world’s best cyclists."
“Council is thrilled to support this cycling event through Geelong Major Events, as it has a proud history in our region and is a big part of our annual sporting calendar,”
“It not only creates a brilliant atmosphere at Eastern Gardens and on the Waterfront, but it also generates about $2 million in benefit to our local economy.”
The Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits will also feature the Damion Drapac Memorial race, the Victorian State Criterium Champions and plenty of other entertainment across the weekend.