Grace Brown to race the Lochard Energy Warrnambool Women’s Classic this Sunday.

The current Australian National Time Trial Champion will be on the Lochard Energy Warrnambool Women’s Classic start line in Colac this Sunday, as she aims to add her name to the honour roll.

This Sunday will be Brown’s debut at the Lochard Energy Warrnambool Women’s Cycling Classic.

Prior to 2022 the women’s event was run in conjunction with the men, where both fields covered the iconic 267-kilometre course.

Now a standalone event, the Lochard Energy Warrnambool Women’s Classic races over a tough 160-kilometre course from Colac to Warrnambool and is the longest one-day road race for women in the world.

Brown, a Southwest local who grew up in Camperdown understands the Warrny’s importance for the region.  Today the World Tour Professional said she’s ready to take part in her home race that now proudly supports a standalone women’s race.

“I think it’s really nice to now have a standalone race for the women, it was a cool challenge doing the full distance in 2021 and being in the men’s peloton but now it’s a sign of respect to have our own standalone race,” Brown said.

“Maybe even one-day we can have a women’s race the same length as the men’s because the Melbourne to Warrnambool has an amazing history and that’s one of the special things about the ‘Warrny’ is the length of it, so to work towards that would be amazing, but at the moment I think its special to have our own race.”

Brown was fifth at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race last Saturday and will be hoping to find her way to the podium this weekend. But the FDJ-SUEZ rider acknowledged it will be tough to topple a start list that features Australia’s best domestic cyclists.

“I think I just have to hold tight and be patient and hope I can be in the group coming into the finish and see where I can try to make a move that might give me a chance of winning but it’s going to be difficult when there are such strong NRS (National Road Series) teams in the peloton,” Brown said.

Whilst the race no longer traverses Brown’s home streets in Camperdown, the Australian Champion who’s racing as an individual believes she’ll still have plenty of support this Sunday.

“I’m a little bit disappointed the course no longer goes through Camperdown where I grew up but still it’s a race that holds a lot of history where I grew up, I remember standing roadside watching the race come past as a kid, it was my first moment understanding road racing at all,” Brown said.

“I’m sure there will be lots of locals on the roadside to cheer me on this weekend”.

The Lochard Energy Warrnambool Women’s Classic leaves Colac Velodrome this Sunday, at 9:30am. An expected finish time between 1:00pm and 2:00pm at Raglan Parade, Warrnambool.

The race will be broadcast Live on SBS On Demand from 10:30am-12:40pm AEDT.


Click through to find out more about each of the events in this year’s Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Festival

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