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Committee for Geelong's Weekly Addy Opinion Piece - Cycling Geelong

Cycling is an international sport that resonates strongly with our community.  We consider world champion cyclist Cadel Evans a local and, as a result, have the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, being hosted in Geelong next weekend.

During the Committee for Geelong's trade mission to the USA, we visited Virginia and learned that Geelong and the City of Richmond are also linked through cycling.  Specifically, both cities have been host to the UCI Road World Cycling Championship; Geelong in 2010 and Richmond in September 2015.

While in Richmond, we witnessed the excitement of the impending UCI race. We were also able to convey to our American colleagues the benefits the race would bring to their City.  We were not wrong.  A post-race independent analysis, prepared by Chmura Economics & Analytics, showed the Economic Impact of the UCI race for the Richmond Region was USD$161 Million.  In addition, it was estimated the event had an almost USD$170 million impact to the Commonwealth as a whole.

The analysis also estimated that the 10-day cycling event - an Opening Ceremony followed by nine days of racing - generated USD$3 million in tax revenue for local governments in the area. An estimated USD$4.9 million in tax revenue was generated for the State.

Approximately 645,000 spectators attended the event.  This was in addition to the 791 national representatives from 76 national federations and 40 trade teams who registered for the championships.  Fifty-six percent of all visitors were estimated to live outside Richmond: 31 percent came from other states; 13 percent came from other Virginia locations; and 12 percent came from other countries.  In addition to the on-site spectators, hundreds of millions of viewers in 150 countries watched on TV.  As with Geelong, the ancillary benefits of this international exposure will continue for many years to come.

In Geelong's 2010 event, Australia medalled in every category with Australia taking out the number one spot on the final tally of medals.  In Richmond, it was a dominant performance by BMC Racing in the 2015 UCI Road World Championships' Elite Men's Team Time Trial that saw the American-registered World Tour team retain their position as Team Time Trial World Champions. 

The organisation, management and promotion of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships was co-ordinated by Richmond 2015, Inc., an independent not for profit corporation. Partners of Richmond 2015 included a mixture of businesses, government agencies and the University of Richmond. In addition to corporate partners, the Commonwealth of Virginia and surrounding local councils were all key partners of Richmond 2015.  This independent approach ensured a positive and collaborative attitude to the event.

Cycling is but one area of human endeavour that Geelong brings to the world and that the world brings to Geelong. It could be any sport or industry that gets people talking about our region and, as Geelong transforms, it is vital the focus remains on our City's positive achievements.  This includes being an excellent host City for many international sporting events.  For more information on the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race visit

Rebecca Casson is the Committee for Geelong Chief Executive Officer. Follow the Committee for Geelong on Twitter @Comm4Geelong.



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