Ballarat Mayor, Cr Ben Taylor is “ecstatic” about Ballarat securing the rights to host the Australian Road National Cycling Championships for the next three years.
The City will partner with the Victorian Government and Cycling Australia to deliver the RoadNats which are televised around the world to an audience of more than half a million people, showcasing Ballarat in Summer.
The RoadNats have provided an estimated $35.5 million economic benefit to Ballarat over the past 13 years.
“As the major financial partner over many years we are delighted with today’s announcement. It is confirmation of continued confidence in Ballarat to host the Road National Championships, which deliver economic and tourism benefits for regional Victoria beyond the five-days of competition, with repeat visitation from cyclists coming to Ballarat to ride the course and complete their pre-training,” the Mayor said.
Cr Taylor said the City of Ballarat had formed a strong working relationship with Cycling Australia, retailers and the Ballarat and Buninyong communities to facilitate enormous growth in the event.
In the last four years, the number of RoadNats events has risen from 10 to more than 40, with more partners and sponsors on board, increased participation; additional elite events, improved spectator viewing and a series of community events such as coffee rides and junior clinics that have engaged local residents and crowds.
The decision to move the time trial course through the Federation University grounds at Mt Helen this year was also seen as a positive move, applauded by participants and spectators.
“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to continue this relationship with Cycling Australia and to facilitate the future growth of the program.” (From 2021 Victorian Junior and Masters Criterium Championships will be added, a social program of events including community rides and business competitions and a National Development Conference for cycling coaches and officials.
“Aside from being the most prestigious event on the Australian Road cycling calendar – the RoadNats have also evolved to be more inclusive with a vastly expanded event schedule,” he said.
Cr Taylor thanked the extended Ballarat community, particularly the township of Buninyong, for their continued support of the RoadNats – where the racing action moves to this weekend.
“The City of Ballarat would not be in a position to deliver these events without the foresight and co-operation of residents and business owners who have worked alongside our events team to contribute to the delivery of a world-class event,” he said.
Cycling Australia CEO, Steve Drake said the Road National Championships were Australia’s largest and most inclusive cycling race. “It has more participants racing than any other event and hosts a great variety of riders from all backgrounds.”
“We’ve crowned many amazing national champions in Ballarat over the years, and the community has made a fantastic investment in this event. We can’t wait to celebrate the next three championships here with the people of Ballarat,” he said.
“We’d also like to extend our thanks to the City of Ballarat, and to the Victorian State Government for their support in making this vision a reality.”