“The championships will see junior, under-23 and elite male and female athletes compete across the Road Race, Individual and Team Time Trial events, creating a world-class event for spectators.”
It is the third international event the NSW government has secured as part of its “10 World Cups in 10 years” campaign after winning the rights to the men’s and women’s Twenty20 world cups in 2020.
The government is also on the verge of securing the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup, to be held in the Hunter Valley, and has its eyes on bigger prizes.
It is targeting the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, the 2027 Rugby World Cup and the 2029 Rugby League World Cup — events which are realistic goals when the Berejiklian government’s $1.6 million rebuild of Allianz Stadium and refurbishment of ANZ Stadium is complete.
Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, chose Wollongong because of its spectacular views along the NSW south coast. It has long been popular with amateur cyclists, boasting 42 kilometres of shared pathways from Sandon Point to Lake Illawarra.
The event is expected to attract the most star-studded international field seen in NSW since the 2000 Olympic Games road races in Sydney.
It would attract many of the stars of cycling’s three grand tours – the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España – and the one day classics.
Riders of the calibre of today’s stars like Britons Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, Australian Richie Porte, Italian Vincenzo Nibali, Slovakian Peter Sagan, Belgium’s Greg Van Avermaet and Dutchman Tom Dumoulin may compete.
Some of the Australian riders who could race include South Australian Rohan Dennis, who won the world men’s elite time trial championship in Innsbruck last week; sprinter Caleb Ewan, who hails from nearby Bowral; the ACT’s Michael Matthews, the 2017 Tour de France green jersey winner; and some of Australia’s emerging talent, including Queenslanders Jack Haig and Nick Shultz and West Australians Ben O’Connor and Rob Power.
The NSW government will work in conjunction with Wollongong City Council to establish a Local Organising Committee to organise the event. More than 1500 volunteers will be called upon.
“Illawarra residents have a once in a life-time opportunity to witness the world’s best cyclists, not to mention the fact our stunning region and its natural attractions will be broadcast into the homes of millions of people,” Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said.