We’re set for five days of intense competition and some of the best spectator sport on offer anywhere in the nation as the 2019 FedUni Road National Championships get underway today.
It’s the highly anticipated and much loved event on our cycling calendar that attracts thousands of cycling-loving enthusiasts to our city each year.
I am unashamedly one of them.
What an incredible honour it is to have hosted Australia’s premier cycling event for the past 12 years.
The RoadNats have become a highly-regarded event in our community, and it shows on the proud faces of our residents and businesses owners who continue to welcome visitors into their shops, restaurants and cafes, and hotels and homes each Summer.
As the Ballarat region continues to invest in cycling tourism, hosting this premier event significantly adds to region’s ability to attract riders all-year round, specifically those who travel just to tackle the infamous hills of Mount Buninyong.
Our city is fast becoming known as the home of cycling in Australia, and the RoadNats play a big part in cementing this reputation.
As a Council, we are invested in continuing to grow this wonderful festival of cycling and we are incredibly proud to be able to watch and help the event grow every year.
I think it’s fair to say this year’s event is shaping up to be the biggest yet, making Ballarat the ultimate New Year destination.
The bar has been set even higher this year with the more cycling action over five consecutive days.
I myself cannot wait to see Sturt Street come alive for the criterium, or to see our up-and-coming cyclists and para-cyclists in action during the Road Races set against the beautiful backdrop of Mount Buninyong.
Whether you are an avid cycling fan, or you just enjoy the opportunity to take in some fresh air with your family, there are plenty of cycling events and activities for you and your family to enjoy.
You have the chance to test out the criterium right before the elite cyclists do, so don’t forget to get down to Sturt Street for the Let’s Ride Community Free Cycle at 1.45pm on Friday 4 January.
Or why not ride to the pinnacle of Mount Buninyong just like our champions while raising funds to support people living with MS in the MS National Gran Fondo Championships.
Maybe you just want to sit back and watch all the action? Go right ahead! There is also plenty of festivities taking place on Saturday for the whole family to enjoy.
Come along to the Community Festival in Buninyong this Saturday evening.
De Soza Park will host the first RoadNats Family Fun Night with The Greatest Showman showing at 7pm.
There will also be food, face painting and children’s activities available throughout the evening.
We’re expecting more than 15,000 spectators to attend the 2019 festival over January 4-8, which continues to showcase Ballarat’s cafes, restaurants, retail, accommodation and attractions to domestic and international visitors.
And while we’re on the topic of enlivening our CBD and surrounds, have you noticed the very artistic bikes popping up around Ballarat and Buninyong?
It’s all part of our Ballarat Art Bikes Projects which saw six artists and the local community come together to create 12 ‘art bikes’ sourced from recycling and upcycling to bring our streets to life ahead of this year’s championships.
I like to think of it as ‘sport meets the Creative City Strategy’. It’s definitely a good example of how we can leverage our strong arts and culture core, and make it even stronger by expanding it into other areas not often associated with the creative industries.
So if you’re out and about don’t forget to take your camera, they are very photo-worthy.
I’d like to welcome our visitors and I wish this year’s riders all the best.
For more information visit roadnationals.org.au
Mayor Samantha McIntosh