Sunday, June 13, 2021

Wollongong becomes only UCI BIKE city in the Southern Hemisphere

Wollongong has become the only city in the Southern Hemisphere to receive the coveted UCI Bike City label, recognising the investment and commitment to make Wollongong ‘cycle-friendly’ to all.

Securing the UCI Bike City label is a legacy of hosting the 2022 Wollongong UCI Road World Championships and reinforces the region’s capacity to develop cycling among the community and get more locals and visitors on bikes.

Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said the 2022 event and Bike City label combined would put Wollongong on the map among cycling fans globally.

“It’s fantastic to see Wollongong receive the UCI Bike City label, which will give us a new avenue to promote Wollongong, Sydney and surrounds to cycling enthusiasts and amateur riders looking for their next ‘must-visit’ destination,” Mr Ayres said.

“This acknowledgement demonstrates the long-term benefits an event such as the UCI Road World Championships can have for a region, which is why the NSW Government is ambitious in securing world-class events for our state.”

Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said the global recognition reinforced the extensive variety of cycling opportunities available throughout Wollongong.

“Whether you’re a road cyclist, BMX or mountain biking enthusiast, or just looking for a safe and fun ride with the family, there is something for everyone in Wollongong,” Mr Lee said.

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“Cycling is a great social sport which keeps you fit and active and it’s loads of fun so I’m so glad we could help make Wollongong a UCI Bike City.”

This global recognition coincides with the release of funding guidelines for the next round of the 2022 UCI Road World Championships Legacy Partnership program due to open later this month, which will support local cycling initiatives in the lead up to the event.

Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock said Wollongong’s recognition would provide a welcomed boost to the State’s South Coast.

“This is great news for Wollongong and the South Coast and great promotion of our region that is rich in landscapes that are perfect to explore by bike,” Mrs Hancock said.

“The NSW Government and local stakeholders have invested in cycleways, bike racks and kerb ramps right across the South Coast, making it a safe, connected and accessible place for cyclists of all abilities to live and visit.”

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Chair of AusCycling Duncan Murray welcomed the announcement saying it was a significant honour for Wollongong and the future of cycling in NSW and Australia.

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“This label tells the world Wollongong is committed to the cycling community, not just for elite athletes but for novices, families and commuters,” Mr Murray said.

“It also reinforces the shared ambition of all participants to ensure the 2022 UCI Road World Championships  delivers a lasting impact that benefits cycling in Wollongong and across NSW.”

Wollongong 2022 Local Organising Committee Chair Dean Dalla Valle said the NSW Government, Wollongong City Council and Aus Cycling are working closely to ensure Wollongong is globally recognised for cycling tourism and major events.

“The Wollongong community should be really proud that their City has been elevated in this way, alongside some of the most famous cities in the world.

“This is a strong building block into the 2022 UCI Road World Championships, which will be the biggest event ever to take place in Wollongong, and a great opportunity for Wollongong to celebrate this accomplishment together,” Mr Dalla Valle said.

For more information about the 2022 Wollongong UCI Road World Championships (18-25 September 2022) and supporting activities visit www.wollongong2022.com.au or for information about visiting Wollongong, go to www.visitnsw.com.au

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