In just its third staging, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race has secured a coveted spot on the UCI WorldTour calendar, putting the one-day classic among cycling's elite events.
The season-opening 74km men's race in Victoria will be part of the WorldTour schedule for three years, starting on January 29.
"I am absolutely delighted our vision has been realised and Australia now has its own modern one-day classic," said Cadel Evans, Australia's 2011 Tour de France winner, who helped create the race which goes through his hometown of Barwon Heads.
"For world cycling this means the classic season will now start in Geelong on January 29, 2017.
"And, our race will become a critical part of the season with teams and individuals vying for early season points in order to set up their entire year.
"To have such an important race showcase a beautiful region that feels like my cycling backyard is something I am very proud of."