Some of the world’s elite cyclists will cruise the Great Ocean Road this summer as part of the inaugural Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Premier Denis Napthine announced recently.
“We are bringing world class cycling to Victoria and some of world’s best cyclists to Geelong and the picturesque surf coast,” Dr Napthine said, adding that the cycling event will showcase some of Victoria’s best regional locations, including Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula and the iconic Great
Ocean Road region.
The two-day cycling event is expected to attract some of the world’s most elite cycling teams and create a festival like atmosphere in Geelong and the surrounding Barwon region.
The event is expected to take place in late January or early February next year and continue for an initial three-year period.
It will include an elite men’s road race, an elite women’s road race and, in an exciting initiative for amateur cyclists, there will be a mass participation ride for people of all ages and abilities.
“The mass participation ride will not only give people the chance to ride the same course as the world’s best cyclists, it will also allow people to experience and enjoy the scenic twists and turns of the Great Ocean Road region,” Dr Napthine said.
Member for South Barwon Andrew Katos said the event would be major windfall for Geelong. “Here in Geelong we are extremely proud of our local champion Cadel Evans and this event is a great way to celebrate his achievements in cycling. The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Geelong is a major coup for Victoria, and will drive tourism in our regions by securing national and international broadcast coverage,” Mr Katos said.
The proposed course has been designed by retired professional cyclist, Scott Sunderland in consultation with cycling great and Tour de France winner Cadel Evans.
The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race builds on the success of the 2010 UCI World Championship which was also held in Geelong.
The Victorian Coalition Government is building a better Victoria by supporting major events, such as the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, which generate significant economic benefits and showcase regional Victoria as a major tourist destination.
Major events deliver an economic impact of around $1.4 billion to Victoria each year. Next year the major events calendar will include the ICC Cricket World Cup, the Asian Football Cup, Rugby League’s State of Origin Game, along with regular annual events such as the Australian Open tennis, Formula One Grand Prix, the Spring Racing Carnival and the AFL Grand Final.