Victoria will stage one of the world’s biggest sporting events after winning the right to host the 2010 UCI Road World Championships, the sport’s governing body, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), announced in Stuttgart today.
Premier John Brumby welcomed the decision of UCI to award such a prestigious cycling championship to Victoria.
“This further cements Victoria’s reputation around the world as the leading destination for staging major events and is a tribute to how important cycling is in Australia,” Mr Brumby said.
“It is a huge vote of confidence to hold the Road Worlds in Victoria, which have never been held in the Southern Hemisphere.”
The UCI World Road Championships (Road Worlds) stand at the pinnacle of the cycling world calendar as one of the great events in world sport and ranks alongside the Tour De France as the most coveted prize in cycling.
Melbourne has already proven credentials in hosting other great cycling events such as the 2004 UCI Track World Cycling Championships, the 2002 UCI Juniors World Championships, as well as the annual Jayco Herald Sun Tour and Around the Bay in a Day events.
Staged over 6 days, the Championships include road races and time trials for men and women elite and men under 23 riders.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Tim Holding, said the time trial element of the 2010 UCI Road World Championships will take place in Melbourne and the road race will be staged in Geelong.
“I’d like to thank the Victorian Major Events Company who have secured this event and been negotiating for the 2010 UCI Road World Cycling Championships as part of our long term events strategy,” Mr Holding said.
Cycling Australia President, Mike Victor OAM was equally supportive of the announcement.
“This recognises the extraordinary growth of the sport in Australia and is a fitting reward for our cyclists whose international performances have moved Australia into the top three ranked nations in the world,” he said.
“Cycling Australia is extremely grateful for the support of the Victorian Government in backing the bid and we look forward to working with them to deliver a great event.” added Mr Victor.
Over 48 countries are represented and a minimum of 720 competitors participate, with the winner of each category winning the right to the world champion’s rainbow jersey for a year.
Past winners include Lance Armstrong, Eddy Merckx and Greg Lemond.
One of Australia’s leading professional road cyclists Cadel Evans, who calls Barwon Heads home when he is in Australia, says he’s excited the Championships will be in his home state of Victoria.
“I look forward to competing at home with all my friends and family there to support me,” Mr Evans said.
“It’s always an honour and a pleasure to compete for my country and even more so with the world’s best riders in my country for this truly international event.” he said.
The 2010 UCI Road World Championships are expected to take place in October 2010 with course details and routes to be announced at a later date.