Major new cycle event to pump $8.5m into Bundy economy
THE Bundaberg International Cycling Spectacular will be celebrating its 70th birthday in style early next year with a criterium race around the streets of the Rum City.
The NewsMail can exclusively reveal that is one of a number of changes to the event that has shaped cycling in the region for the past seven decades.
An announcement will be made today that will see the Spectacular expand from two days of racing to an eight-day event next year from February 10 to 17.
Among the events will be a criterium race on Bourbong St on February 14 (left) with an Olympic triathlon to be held on February 17, which will be run by Bargara Tri Club.
The two days of velodrome racing, which have always been part of the event, will be held on February 15 and 16.
The event will now be called the Auswide Bank Bundaberg CycleFest International, with Auswide Bank hosting the announcement this morning.
"This will be the biggest cycling event in Queensland in 2019,” event executive director Jason Templeman said.
"You are looking at 50 of the best riders in the world you can get here. "This is a must-see event.”
Templeman said the deal was for four years and has been approved by the Bundaberg Regional Council, the state government, Cycling Queensland and Cycling Australia.
"The conversation started a couple of years ago, was all geared around growing our event,” he said.
"We wanted to produce an event that is attractive to not only riders but spectators.
"It's taken a couple of years to deliver.”
Importantly, the new announcement eliminates the problems the previous Spectacular had.
The new date will be the only cycling event in Australia on during the week.
The CycleFest is now also national ranked by Cycling Australia, which allows state members to bring their best athletes to the region.
The pet event, the Madison, which was won by Austria's Stefan Matzner and Andreas Muller earlier this year, is now a UCI sanctioned event as well, with riders able to earn ranking points to qualify themselves for the World Cup later that year.
The national ranking, date and UCI announcement now leaves riders in prime position to compete here. "It makes us very appealing for what they (riders) can do now,” Templeman said.
"Riders from across the world can use it to gain points for World Cup points.
"They will be available on the Madison.”
The event is also expected to boost the economy in the region as well.
"This event will bring $8.5 million to the community over the eight days,” Templeman said.
"We hopefully will be able to announce Queensland Government injection into this event over the coming period.
"We're very confident that it will happen. There is a potential injection up to $325,000 over the next four years into the event.”
But Templeman and the Bundaberg Cycling Club is not stopping there.
"We see Cyclefest growing into all an cycling sport over the next two years,” he said.
"We hope to include and start preliminary conversations with the mountain biking and BMX'ing in the near future.
"We hope to extend the olive branch to bring them on board and turn it into a 14-day event or two weeks of cycling and bring massive things to the community.”
Templeman said he hoped the community can now come and support it.
"We've put a lot of hard work in this,” he said.
"This is massive for the Bundaberg region and for cycling in this state.
"This is something that in 10 years' time, I envision, this will be televised not only on live stream but around Australia.”
There will be more on the announcement in tomorrow's NewsMail.