The race to the start line of the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong is well underway, with just 100 days until the world’s best cyclists will descend on the Australian coastal city.National Federations and local enthusiasts are scoping the challenging courses, and athletes are expressing their desire to compete for a rainbow jersey in Wollongong, including the recent and first ever Australian winner of the Giro d’Italia Jai Hindley.
The city is preparing to welcome the international cycling community for world-class racing from 18-25 September, when 13 UCI World Champion titles will be awarded. The 2022 UCI Road World Championships are supported by local Main Partner Wilson Asset Management.
With just over three months until the starting flag is waved, the Organising Committee Wollongong 2022 and event partners are finalising plans with a focus on making the city shine brightly. Current activities include:
– Progressing city works to deliver a world-class course, a positive visitor experience and legacy benefits for the local community
– Ongoing volunteer recruitment for key roles including course marshals, drivers and welcome hosts to join the 1,000 registrants for the Wollongong 2022 Volunteer Program supported by Wilson Asset Management
– The NSW Government has announced 12 Illawarra organisations will share in $220,000 in the final round of the event’s Legacy Partnership Program
– Launching new content to attract visitors to the region before, during and after the event including a new guide; 100 things to see and do in Wollongong (and 100 ways Wollongong will win over the world!)
– Increasing numbers of students completing Ride Nation Bike Immersion Days and the release of new school activity worksheets to help students learn about the history and diversity of the UCI Road World Championships
UCI President David Lappartient said that cycling’s international governing body was excited to return to the Southern Hemisphere this coming September with its leading annual event.
“Staging the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong, Australia, provides us with a wonderful opportunity to continue to grow interest in cycling globally,” Mr Lappartient said.
“The athletes, fans and officials are very excited about coming to the UCI Bike City of Wollongong, experiencing the challenging courses and taking in the Australian culture and enthusiasm for cycling.”
Wollongong 2022 Chair Dean Dalla Valle said excitement and anticipation about the event was increasing among the local community.
“As local riders and visitors are getting out to try the course, there’s a real eagerness for September and the UCI Road World Championships to arrive,” Mr Dalla Valle said.
“Interest grew significantly following the recent success of Australian riders including Jai Hindley on the UCI World Tour, and we hope to see our green and gold riders on the podium in Wollongong.
“Wollongong 2022, Wollongong City Council and our partners are working hard to ensure the world sees the very best of our city, and their Wollongong experience encourages advocacy and return visitation.
“Whether you are planning to come and cheer from the sidelines or you want to be involved behind the scenes, now is the time to book your accommodation and complete your volunteer application.”
NSW Minister for Tourism and Sport Stuart Ayres said the action-packed event would play an important role in the recovery of the visitor economy.
“The 2022 UCI Road World Championships are expected to attract hundreds of thousands of spectators, tens of thousands of visitors and millions in visitor expenditure for the state,” Mr Ayres said.
“As the first of our major international sporting events under the 10 World Cups in 10 Years initiative to take place since the onset of the pandemic, this celebration of cycling in Wollongong will lead the way to turbocharge our NSW visitor economy once more.”
Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said the city was preparing in earnest for the event.
“As the only UCI Bike City in the Southern Hemisphere we’re already making a lot of progress toward implementing our Cycling Strategy 2030 to make bike riding a natural part of everyday life here in Wollongong,” he said.
“Our Wollongong City Council team is focused on ensuring the city puts on an unforgettable show for all visitors – from athletes and officials to spectators as well as an awesome event experience for our residents. The event-related infrastructure works to facilitate a safe, world-class event are well underway and making great progress.”
Wilson Asset Management Chairman and Chief Investment Officer Geoff Wilson AO said Wollongong was only 100 days out from hosting a world-class event, which will create a long-lasting legacy for the local community. Wilson Asset Management is the main partner of the 2022 UCI Road World Championships.
“We are looking forward to the 2022 UCI Road World Championships, and it’s exciting to have home-grown athletes like our first Australian Giro d’Italia winner wanting to compete,” Mr Wilson said.
“Wilson Asset Management is committed to making a difference for our shareholders and the community. We are the investment manager for eight listed investment companies and the creator and lead supporter of the Future Generation companies, the first listed investment companies to deliver both investment and social return.
“We are excited about being a partner for this historic event; one that will attract a global audience making a positive long term impact on cycling and the Australian community,” he said.
Wollongong 2022 Race Director Scott Sunderland said National Federations and athletes were very curious and excited about the Championships.
“Many of the Federations have reached out to discuss the features of the course because they want to send their best riders to Wollongong for a chance to win on a champion-worthy course,” Mr Sunderland said.
“Italy and Australian coaches will be visiting in June to scope the courses and determine which riders have the best opportunity to win – I’m sure they’ll be impressed by the challenging courses our team has created.”