Australian Capital Territory backs mountain bike worlds bid

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Andrew Barr, today announced the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government would provide over one million AU$ to support the 2009 mountain bike world championships if a bid to hold them in Canberra was successful.

The ACT Government has joined with Canberra Off-Road Cyclists (CORC) and their event partners Apis Consulting Group in their bid for Canberra to host and manage the UCI 2009 mountain bike and trials world championships at Stromlo Forest Park in early September 2009. "If successful in its bid for the world championships, Canberra would play host to the most significant mountain bike event of 2009 and have the capacity to attract in excess of 60,000 visitors and spectators over 4 days," Barr said. "The ACT Government is pleased to announce our support for the event, which comes on top of an investment of $7.5 million in the facilities at Stromlo Forest Park.

"The ACT Government and CORC have successfully tested the venue as part of the Brindabella Challenge and CORC have been granted the rights, for three years, to stage the Australian Mountain Bike and Trials Championships at Stromlo Forest Park, commencing in January 2007. Given the stature of this event in the world and the growing popularity of mountain biking in Australia, it is a major opportunity to promote Stromlo Forest Park and Canberra as the number one mountain biking destination in Australia and a hot spot for mountain biking in the world."

Barr explained that CORC is the largest mountain bike club in Australia and has more experience than any other club or promoter in Australia in staging major international standard mountain bike events. "This combined with Apis' core project management and media marketing experience will no doubt ensure the delivery of a world class event," Barr continued.

CORC President Anthony Burton noted, "As a club we have worked hard to get the attention of the government, built their belief in the sport and, worked together in developing a truly world class facility and now want to show this off to the world. ... This funding is goes to show what can be achieved when you are professional, courteous and persistent."

An announcement of the successful host of the 2009 mountain bike world championships will be made in January 2007.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.