Cycle City

WORTH THE WAIT: City of Mount Gambier community events team leader Denise Richardson is urging residents set to be inconvenienced by tomorrow’s Tour of the Great South Coast to embrace the high-class event. Picture: BRETT KENNEDYA KEY figure behind tomorrow’s Mount Gambier leg of the Tour of the Great South Coast Road Cycling Classic has called on the community to embrace the high class event.

With road closures scheduled across both the inner-city circuit and Blue Lake loop, residents are being asked to be patient and co-operate to ensure the returning event hits the streets without a hitch.

Attracting a top field of 130 cyclists, bringing with them around 400 support crew, the eight-stage tour will put Mount Gambier under the national and international spotlight throughextensive coverage.

City of Mount Gambier community events team leader Denise Richardson said several surrounding businesses had been given three months notice of the temporary road closures.

“We really hope people are understanding on the day because the City of Mount Gambier is committed to attracting major events,” Ms Richardson said.

“It’s the businesses and local people who are going to reap the benefits from it and stage three is also being held in the District Council of Grant, so it is not just Mount Gambier that will benefit from this.”

The Vansittart Park Criterium will serve as the opening stage of the tour, with Wehl Street North, Eglington Terrace, Victoria Terrace and Commercial Street West to face temporary closures, while the second stage in the afternoon will involve closures on O’Halloran Terrace, Wehl Street South, Lake Terrace West, Bay Road and John Watson Drive.

Thursday’s road race from Mount Gambier to Port MacDonnell will travel through Mount Gambier’s southern fringe, Carpenter Rocks, Pelican Point, Blackfellows Caves, Kongorong, Donovans, Brown Bay, Riddoch Bay and Racecourse Bay.

A road closure will be in place on Sea Parade from early afternoon.

Understanding that the events would inconvenience some residents, Ms Richardson said organisers and the council had worked with the public to achieve a successful outcome.

“People will still be able to park nearby because we are really aware of the clinic and pharmacy,” she said.

“We really benefit if people come down and cheer riders on, so we encourage residents and nearby businesses to get along.”

With additional police and marshals from Cycling Victoria, Ms Richardson said there would be plenty of people on-site to assist residents.

“We had no complaints last year that required a different route to be taken, so hopefully people will continue to understand,” she said.

“This event has grown from last year and I can see it growing even bigger.”

Ms Richardson said the event had the potential to positively impact on the region’s tourism sector.

“This race goes around the Blue Lake and that will be beamed across the world on SBS, so what better tourism promotion can you ask for?” she said.

“Cycling is taking off throughout the world and to see this sport locally at such a high calibre is fantastic.”

With a majority of teams arriving yesterday, it is expected an influx of cyclists will hit the road today in preparation for tomorrow’s action.

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