Clock is ticking on UCI Road World Championships Wollongong 2022
A dedicated countdown clock has been unveiled in the Crown Street Mall today, Friday 25 September, as the city marks two years’ out from the UCI Road Cycling Championships coming to Wollongong in September 2022.
The UCI event will include a range of men’s and women’s races across age groups from junior to elite. While the routes for the landmark event haven’t yet been revealed, it’s a major opportunity to showcase the region to the world.
“This is a major coup for Wollongong. Last week we marked the 20th anniversary of the start of the Sydney 2000 Olympics and we’re talking about Wollongong experiencing that buzz once again,’’ Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.
“We enjoyed the excitement during the Olympics in Sydney, we felt it again when the Rugby League World Cup came in 2008, and this event is next level again. There is no doubt across those eight days in September 2022 there will be a real festive atmosphere in Wollongong, and the opportunity for some 1500 volunteers to get involved.’’
The broadcast of the event is expected to have Wollongong on the screens of 250 million people across 150 countries.
“The size and scale of this event has not been experienced in this city before. We will see some of the world’s best cyclists riding the streets of our city,’’ Cr Bradbery said.
“In fact, Geelong is the only other Australian city that has enjoyed hosting honours of this prestigious event. We are very excited to be working with the NSW State Government and the Wollongong 2022 to bring this to our community.’’
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the race would attract the best international cyclists and their passionate supporters from every corner of the globe.
“The 2022 UCI Road World Championships is a landmark event for Wollongong and regional NSW,” Minister Ayres said.
“It presents a major opportunity to showcase the NSW south-coast, and attract a new generation of athletes and sports fans to this spectacular part of our state.
“The NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, is proud to support this major sporting event, and such activities will be critical to our state’s COVID recovery plan by driving visitation, boosting tourism expenditure in the area and beyond, and building awareness of NSW to potential holidaymakers.”
Wollongong 2022 CEO Mr Stu Taggart says the 2022 UCI Road World Championships has the potential to establish Wollongong as a globally recognised cycling tourism and major event destination.
“It is fitting that as we unveil the countdown clock for Wollongong 2022, the world’s best cyclists are gathered in Imola to compete in this year’s UCI Road World championships,” he said.
“With cycling firmly in the spotlight across the globe, we will continue to work closely with the UCI, NSW Government, Wollongong City Council, Cycling Australia, Cycling NSW and the local community to plan and deliver a spectacular event in 2022.
Cr Bradbery said between now and September 2022 Council will continue to invest in improving the city’s cyclability, as part of our commitment to support riding for future generations.
“We know not everyone rides a bike but there are a lot of people in our community who do, or wish to ride,’’ Cr Bradbery said.
“The steps we’re taking now will make it safer and easier for everyone to choose a mode of transport that best suits their needs.’’
The digital clock, which was fabricated by a local contractor and uses stylised imagery of Wollongong’s lighthouse, will remain in the Crown Street Mall for the next two years as the city prepares for the international event that’s second only in profile to the Tour de France.
The 2022 UCI Road World Championships is supported by Destination NSW, Wollongong City Council and the Government of NSW.