The 2023 Federation University Road National Championships have been hailed as one of the most successful instalments of the event in years.
With the strongest fields in recent memory assembled, the five-day extravaganza is expected to have resulted in an enormous boost to Ballarat’s economy, in addition to boosting the city’s profile to millions of people.
More than 10,000 spectators lined the streets of Buninyong to watch Luke Plapp and Brodie Chapman become Australian champions, with thousands estimated to have packed the Ballarat CBD on Friday night for the criteriums event.
It is expected the event provided a boost of at least $4 million to the Ballarat economy, although the final market research data will not be compiled for several weeks.
Almost 2000 competing riders and their entourages spent multiple days in the city, including the event days and several days prior to the event.
The extensive media coverage, including the SBS television broadcast and worldwide stream spanning more than 15 hours, was also forecast to reach a potential audience of over 6 million people.
City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said the entire event ensured Ballarat shone brightly on the national stage.
“The Road Nationals is a huge event every year, but I really do think it went to another level in 2023,” Cr Hudson said.
“The atmosphere in both Ballarat and Buninyong were electric and it was just fantastic to highlight our city in such a way.
“The extensive live TV and online platform coverage showcased Ballarat and Buninyong to an extensive national and international audience.
“Once again locals showed tremendous support for the event with an estimated 5000 Ballarat residents attending the races and a further 1000 being involved in the various fringe activities such as the Buninyong movie night and Gran Fondo ride.”
Kipp Kaufmann, Executive General Manager of Sport at AusCycling said Ballarat put on a fantastic display for the event.
“The Road Nationals have been incredible. I think we’ve seen everything this week,” he said.
“Amazing athletes at all levels: from our under-19 riders; our para-cycling riders who are now on their way towards Paris; our elite and under-23 riders; and club and community riders all around. It’s been a fantastic few days.
“Ballarat has turned on some perfect weather, given us great venues, and we couldn’t have asked for more over the last five days.”
The City of Ballarat continues to work closely with AusCycling and our State Government partners at Visit Victoria in relation to a potential future contract for the Road National Championships.
Having hosted the event for the last 17 years, the City of Ballarat is hopeful of maintaining the hosting rights of the event in the future.