WOLLONGONG PREPARES FOR OLYMPIC MOMENT AND CITY-WIDE CELEBRATION

Businesses and residents are preparing for an action-packed week of cycling and cultural activities across the city when the 2022 UCI Road World Championships come to Wollongong in September.

With the release of the full course details overnight by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the organising committee, Wollongong 2022, more information is now available about the world-class competition schedule that will unfold from 18 to 25 September.

Race start times are now confirmed pending the final field of entrants competing in the Individual and Team Time Trials in particular, while training times for Saturday 17 and Thursday 22 September have also been verified by the UCI.

Wollongong 2022 CEO Stu Taggart said the site visit by the UCI in late February was critical to progress discussions and planning among event partners including the organising committee, NSW Government, Wollongong City Council and traffic management experts.

“Pleasingly, the UCI were very impressed by Wollongong overall and the preparations that have gone into planning a safe and spectacular race that has the local community in mind, as well as the athletes and the broadcast,” Mr Taggart said.

“Yesterday’s announcement brings us another step closer to Wollongong’s Olympic moment and with less than six months to go, we’re laser focused on working collaboratively with our event partners to continue refining our plans and move into delivery mode to produce an unforgettable event experience.

“The confirmation of the race details will provide some comfort for residents and businesses from Helensburgh to the city, and around Mount Keira and Mount Kembla, as we can now advise that those sections of the Elite Road Race courses will only operate once each day on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September.

“That means those roads will reopen once the athletes and support vehicles have passed through and the traffic management team certify it is safe to do so.

“We understand that there is some curiosity and apprehension about how the city will operate in event time, and there’s no doubt that we’ll all have to do things a little differently to make the most of this unique opportunity for the city.

“Wherever possible, we encourage people to consider that week differently – why not try active transport alternatives, reschedule activities, plan ahead or adjust your schedule for the week to reduce the impact of road closures and allow you to soak up the energy and excitement of this world event being in town.”

Wollongong City Council General Manager Greg Doyle said the Wollongong community could be proud about securing this event for the region and the benefit it will bring to so many businesses, employees and organisations in the coming months and years.

“The UCI recognised not only our stunning surrounds but our commitment to cycling and our collective efforts to promote active transport, physical and mental well-being and climate action across the city,” Mr Doyle said.

“This is a rare opportunity to showcase our city to future visitors, potential investors and commercial industry partners, and Governments at all levels about how welcoming, innovative and capable we are as a community.”

Diggies owner Stan Crinis said he was excited about the opportunity this event will provide local business owners and residents to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime moment for the city, and has some experience with navigating large events.

“We are right behind this event and know it will create such a fantastic atmosphere in the city for visitors and locals, and we can’t wait to see people out and about enjoying Wollongong’s hospitality in September,” Mr Crinis said.

“As the courses pass right by our business at North Beach, we will have to plan ahead and do things differently for the nine days when there will be temporary road closures. But with clear information and planning we will be able to adjust our operations to accommodate the changes across the city, and we have plenty of time to prepare.

“We can’t wait to showcase our beautiful North Beach to the world! Diggies will be hosting festivities in celebration. The buzz will be incredible and I’m confident that Wollongong will benefit from this exciting one-off event.

Wollongong 2022 and Wollongong City Council will be notifying residents and businesses about event time operations and preparatory works through progress letters and direct emails, regular updates to the Wollongong 2022 and Council websites and social media, local media coverage and community information sharing activities.

The first Wollongong 2022 information stand and Ride Nation Wollongong bike activity course will be at Pedal in the Park on 10 April at Lang Park, where residents are encouraged to chat to the team to learn more about the event.

For more information and FAQs, go to wollongong2022.com.au.

HOW WILL THE CITY WORK?

There will be a change to the way the city operates in event time because:

  • The race occurs on public roads
  • There will be event time infrastructure across the city
  • The city will be buzzing with people and activity

What you need to know:

  • Safety is the top priority for the community, athletes, officials and volunteers
  • Roads are open before and after event time each day – most will reopen by 6pm
  • Event times differ each day
  • There will be no parking on the course during daily road closures
  • Pedestrian access is maintained across the city
  • Emergency services are involved in event planning and emergency vehicles can access all areas at all times
  • Roads will be progressively reopened when it is safe to do so each day
  • Other roads across the city will have temporary closures to allow for the safe implementation of traffic control measures
  • We will need to do things differently – planning and communication are essential
  • This is a unique opportunity to be part of a special moment for Wollongong, and pave the way for the future of the city
  • A detailed road closure schedule will be available in July