New South Wales-born, Belgium-based Australian road cycling identity Scott Sunderland has joined the 2022 UCI Road World Championships organising committee, Wollongong 2022, as Race Director.
The former professional cyclist and experienced race director of numerous major UCI cycling races has welcomed the opportunity to be part of the team creating and delivering a World Championship event on home soil.
“It is an honour to be Race Director for next year’s UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong,” Mr Sunderland said.
“The Championships are a prestigious event for many professional riders who strive to win that coveted Rainbow Jersey. I’m enthusiastic about supporting the development of a course that is challenging, exciting and will create unforgettable memories for athletes and spectators alike.
“We have a rich landscape on the east coast of Australia, particularly in Wollongong where the escarpment meets the quintessential white sand beaches. I’m sure the riders, officials, fans and media will be surprised by the racing that unfolds against this spectacular backdrop.
“I’m a proud Australian for being given the chance to create a lasting legacy for Wollongong and surrounds through this event, while inspiring future generations in Australia, it’s wonderful.”
Sunderland has flown the Australian professional athletes’ flag in Europe since 1989. He represented Australia at 13 UCI Road World Championships and competed in all major UCI WorldTour races Including the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta España.
He has been recognised for transforming the athlete and spectator appeal of many Classic cycling events since taking on a director role.
UCI President David Lappartient welcomed the appointment and acknowledged Sunderland’s close connection to the international cycling community, race director experience and passion for the technical and storytelling attributes of the sport.
“Scott is highly respected in professional cycling and his intrinsic knowledge of Australia as the former director of several National Road Series events makes him the ideal person for this position,” Mr Lappartient said.
“We are all looking forward to being in Wollongong for the 2022 UCI Road World Championships next September and can’t wait to see the dynamic racing that will take place in the region across all 11 medal events.”
Supporting Sunderland in his role of Race Director during Wollongong 2022 will be Mark Renshaw as Safety Manager.
It is the first race official role for Renshaw, who has raced in all three Grand Tours and for many years was the main lead-out rider for British champion Mark Cavendish. As he emerged as a sprinter in his own right, Renshaw secured some impressive wins including the GC at the Tour of Qatar in 2011.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be involved with the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong, and I look forward to using my 16 years of racing experience to bring the perspective of the rider to the preparations for this event,” Mr Renshaw said.
Mark’s appointment as Safety Manager leverages his experience at the pointy end of race finishes to support the UCI and Wollongong 2022’s commitment to race safety.
The addition of the Race Director and Safety Manager add to the cycling credentials already in place with Wollongong 2022 Head of Sport Steve Peterson (UCI technical delegate and former continental adviser for the Asia and Oceania region) and Head of Event Services and Operations Sally Heading (former Event Manager of the Tour Down Under), alongside the Sport and Technical Advisory Group comprised of Kate Bates, Gracie Elvin, Ben Kersten, Peter Tomlinson and Oenone Wood.
Wollongong 2022 CEO Stu Taggart said the diverse experience of the entire team would make for an excellent and unique UCI Road World Championships.
“It’s fantastic that Wollongong 2022 can provide a platform for the entire Australian cycling community to showcase its combined credentials, to explore new opportunities and to celebrate our strengths as a host city of a major international event,” Mr Taggart said.