Deakin University Elite Women's Road Race returns in 2023

Media release

13 December 2022

The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in partnership with Deakin University is excited to announce the return of the Deakin University Elite Women's Road Race in 2023, as part of Australia's summer of cycling.

The world's best cyclists will descend on Geelong and the Surf Coast on Saturday, January 28, as the Deakin University Elite Women's Road Race returns for the first time since 2020 and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event comes as Australia enters a golden decade of sport, with the nation set to host at least 10 major sporting events over the next 10 years, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane, the Rugby World Cup, the FIFA Women's World Cup and Victoria's Commonwealth Games.

Deakin University Associate Professor Natalie Saunders joined 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans at Deakin's Waurn Ponds campus today to announce 2022 Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Grace Brown will compete in the 2023 race.

Brown is the first cyclist to confirm her participation, and her commitment follows a stunning victory in January's 2022 Time Trial of the National Road Championships. She continued her fine form in September, winning silver in the Time Trials at the UCI World Road Championships in Wollongong.

Raised in the Victorian town of Camperdown in the Otway Ranges, north of the Great Ocean Road and a 90-minute drive from Geelong, the race will be a home-coming for Brown, who has spent the best part of the past six years riding in Europe.

Brown said she was thrilled to be back riding in the world-renowned event after a two-year hiatus.

"It is great to compete once again in the Deakin University Elite Women's Road Race for 2023, especially after a tough couple of years without the event due to the pandemic," Brown said.

"The event is one that I always look forward to on the cycling calendar every year, given the chance to ride against some of the best riders in the world along the picturesque Geelong and the Surf Coast roads. I can't wait to get back on the bike for the event in January for such a marquee event for the Geelong and Surf Coast region."

Today, Brown was joined by 2009 Road World Champion and Race founder Cadel Evans, who was delighted to see Brown return alongside the Deakin University Elite Women's Race, which will once again be a World Tour sanctioned event in 2023.

"I’m so happy that we can look forward to welcoming the very best female riders in the world back to the Geelong and Surf Coast regions for the return of the Deakin University Elite Women’s Race," Evans said.

"To be able to announce a rider of Brown’s calibre is exciting, and we can't wait to welcome more riders in the coming weeks."

Deakin University, an Elite Women’s Race partner since 2016, has a proud history of commitment and support for women’s sport.

Associate Professor Natalie Saunders, Co-Director of the University’s Centre for Sport Research, said the event's return would again put the spotlight on women's cycling and draw spectators and competitors to Geelong's iconic Surf Coast.

The upcoming decade of sport would also generate thousands of job opportunities for those interested in working in sport-related fields, she said.

"Deakin lives and breathes a love of sport and our partnership with the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race as naming rights partner for this event cements our commitment to women’s sport," Associate Professor Saunders said.

"At Deakin, we strive to support female athletes from the grassroots to elite participants through research conducted at our Centre for Sport Research, which aims to improve the health and performance of people and organisations across sport. Our goal is to inspire more women to be involved in sport at every level both on and off the course."

Save the Date

The 2023 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will be held from January 27 - January 29, with the UCI World Tour Deakin University Elite Women's Race set for the Saturday morning (January 28).

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