The Launceston Cycling Festival will double as an opener for a new four-pronged criterium series after a shake-up of the national cycling calendar.
The popular Launceston event kicked off a three-event national sprint series last year, but has been repackaged for 2018 alongside races in Sydney, Woolongong and South Melbourne.
Cycling Australia general manager Kipp Kaufmann said the growing popularity of criteriums was behind the reshuffle.
“We’ve seen events like the Shimano Super Crit, and the Launceston Cycling Festival attract the big names from the World Tour such as honorary Aussie Koen de Kort, Simon Gerrans, Valentina Scandolara and Marianne Vos,” Kaufmann said.
“We’re keen to attract these top level riders again, whilst putting on show the local talent from national and up-and-coming talent.”
The Launceston leg of the series on November 11 will be followed by races in Sydney and Woolongong on November 17 and 18.
The two New South Wales dates clash with the five-day Tour of Tasmania, which runs from November 14 to 18, and features a women’s race for the first time.
The series ends nine days out from Christmas with a criterium in South Melbourne.