BENDIGO has added another jewel to its cycling crown, with the city to host the 2012 Victorian Open Road championships.
In an official announcement at the Town Hall this afternoon, it was revealed the prestigious state titles would be decided at the Bendigo Grand Prix, from November 9 to 11.
About 250 elite male and female cyclists from across Australia will compete in the championships.
Race director John Craven described Bendigo as the spiritual headquarters of Australian cycling.
"It has a rich cycling heritage, hosting the Bendigo International Madison ad numerous stages of the Herald Sun Tour," he said.
"It has produced numerous champion Australian cyclists such as Frank McCaig, Rick McCaig, Brent McCaig, Colin Fitzgerald and London silver medalist Glenn O'Shea.
"It is an ideal venue for this new concept."
City of Greater Bendigo City Futures director Stan Liacos said the area was delighted to host the major sporting event.
"It will continue to lift our profile as a growing, progressive and vibrant city," he said.
"The continued attraction of major events to Bendigo is an important part of our economic development.
"This announcement comes on the back of the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity currently on at the Elmore Events Centre and the School Sport Australia Volleyball Championships commencing this weekend at Bendigo Stadium.
The three-day event kicks off with time trial events for all riders, consisting of a loop that starts and finishes at Emu Creek.
Saturday will see the road race, the blue-ribbon event of Victorian cycling.
The women will ride five laps of a Spring Gully course, covering 82.5kms, while the men will cover 148.5km over nine laps of the picturesque urban area.
The Grand Prix culminates on Sunday with the Victorian Criterium Championships in the CBD.
The overall champions will be decided on an accumulative points system over the three days.