The overview of the courses was released in December, revealing elite road race starts in Helensburgh, along with an inland loop – Mount Keira – named after the biggest climb of the race and a city circuit including the punchy climb of Mount Pleasant. At the end of March it was then revealed that the elite and U23 women’s race would take on the city circuit six times, while the men’s elite race would tackle it 12 times before the final pass of the Wollongong finish line.
The time trials are set to take place on the technical, corner heavy circuit around the city of Wollongong.
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The event begins with the time trials, which are on a city circuit that goes past the Wollongong Botanical Gardens, through Mount Ousley and toward the coast via Fairy Meadow.
They run in line with the Blue Mile shared cycle pathway and there is a fast sector along Cliff Road, past the lighthouse at Flagstaff Hill, taking riders to the finish line across from Wollongong beach on Marine Drive.
The corner-heavy courses are similar through the categories but the elite time trials extend further north with an up and back section toward Towradgi.
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The elite road races start in the hamlet of Helensburgh working their way down to Wollongong via the coast and Sea Cliff bridge. The course then heads to the Mount Keira loop and city circuit.
The Mount Keira loop takes the race up into the escarpment, reaching 473 metres after an 8.7km climb with an average gradient of five per cent. The climb with sub-tropical surrounds gives way to a quick descent through Kembla Heights, Cordeaux Heights and out to Port Kembla steelworks, the crucial economic building block of the city.
The Wollongong city circuit goes from the centre of town, through the suburbs of Gwynneville, Mount Ousley, Mount Pleasant, Fairy Meadow and North Wollongong before heading back toward the beachside finish line. This loop may not be named after a climb, but it still includes Mount Pleasant which delivers an average gradient of 7.7 per cent and a maximum of 14 per cent, reaching an elevation of 119 metres.
The combined elite and U23 women’s road race will include one lap of the Mount Keira circuit and 6 of the city circuit while the elite men will tackle 12 laps of the finishing loop. The U23 men and women’s races and men’s junior categories will be run on the city circuit.
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