Mersey Valley Devonport Cycling Club ready to host the best on the road at the Oceania Road Cycling Championships

The Mersey Valley Devonport Cycling Club is ready for one of its biggest moments of recent times when the North-West Coast hosts the road race section of next year’s Oceania Road Cycling Championships on a course it knows will challenge the very best.

Coastal pride: Action from last week's Ulverstone to Penguin Tour of Tasmania stage. The region will host the road races at next year's Oceania Road Cycling Championships. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Coastal pride: Action from last week's Ulverstone to Penguin Tour of Tasmania stage. The region will host the road races at next year's Oceania Road Cycling Championships. Picture: Brodie Weeding

The club, along with Cycling Tasmania, will stage the prestigious event, which is only below world championships in the international cycling pecking order.

It will also be the final selection event ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Railton will be the base of the road races on the final two days of the March 23-25 event, with the course to take in areas such as Kimberley, Weegena, Dunorlan and Moltema.

“We have always been about being able to host events which allows Tasmanian riders the chance to compete at the national level (such as the Mersey Valley Tour), but this just takes it to another level as it encompasses New Zealand and all the other areas in the Oceania region,’’ president Grant Astell said on Tuesday.

“This will bring down the best riders that the country, and others, have to offer and they will be competing on a really tough course.

“We think Tasmania is the best state from a terrain point of view, and we know that the Tour of Tas is described as one of the toughest events, and this event will again show that.

“We have only been offered the Oceanias because we have shown that we can host top class events, but we can now get to show that we can hold a ‘next level’ event such as this one.”

The championships will begin at Evandale with a time trial on March 23.