July 21, 2023

Bike race boost

The Surf Coast will play host to the world’s best amateur road cyclists when one of the sport’s biggest international calendars comes to the Great Ocean Road.

Australia’s peak cycling body AusCycling will today (Friday, July 21) announce it has secured hosting rights to the 2025 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in partnership with the state government’s Visit Victoria.

Lorne will host a major event hub and the start/finish line of a road race and time trial during the weekend, while a team relay event will take place at the Geelong Waterfront.

The 2025 races coincide with that year’s Amy’s Great Ocean Road Gran Fondo on October 17-19 and will tackle the same course through the Otway Ranges and along the Great Ocean Road.

It will be a rare foray out of Europe for the world championship event, which will leave the continent for just the third time since launching in 2011.

The UCI Gran Fondo is the culmination of a world series incorporating 27 global qualifying events leading to invites for the top competitors to compete for medals and the coveted rainbow world champion’s jersey.

About 3,200 participants and crew are expected for the 2025 event.

AusCycling chief executive officer Marne Fechner said the Great Ocean Road region would be the perfect location for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.

“I couldn’t think of a more beautiful region to host this international event and showcase not only Australia’s, but also regional Victoria’s natural beauty and everything it has to offer."

“Those who have ridden Amy’s Gran Fondo in the past will know that while the scenery is beautiful taking in farmland, lush rainforest and a stunning coastline, the course is challenging and will test the best age category riders from across the world.

“We can’t wait to welcome international and interstate competitors and their families and show them why they shouldn’t miss the chance to race along the rolling roads of the Great Ocean Road.”

Shire deputy mayor Mike Bodsworth said the event would solidify the region’s reputation as a leading Australian cycling hub.

“Our strategic investment in cycling infrastructure, experiences and events over the past decade has paid dividends, as road cycling events held within our shire consistently attract more participants than any other region in Victoria.

“We are excited for these world championships to strengthen the Surf Coast Shire’s status as a cycling destination, joining the likes of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Amy’s Gran Fondo, the Great Ocean & Otway Classic Ride, and Great Victorian Bike Ride on our incredible Surf Coast events calendar.”

Geelong mayor Trent Sullivan said Geelong would similarly benefit from the global cycling showcase.

“Geelong has firmly established itself on the world cycling map, and it’s fantastic that riders from across the globe will get to experience all the region has to offer. This destination event will showcase our region’s attractions to a whole new audience and provide a significant boost to our visitor economy.”

More details on the event, including time trial and team criterium routes, will be announced later this year.

Read Surf Coast Times story here.

Image: Representatives from Surf Coast Shire, City of Greater Geelong, the Victorian government and AusCycling have celebrated news of the 2025 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships coming to Lorne. Photo: LEON WALKER

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