THE Sunshine Coast will play host to a mass participation cycling event next year.
Thousands of riders are expected to converge on the region for Velothon Sunshine Coast, from July 13-16.
With completely closed roads across a variety of distances, it will be held in and around the Sunshine Coast hinterland, where spectators are expected to line the course.
The race will be part of the VELOTHON Series and is expected to inject about $3.5 million into the local economy.
Velothons are already well established in Berlin (15,000 riders), Wales (15,000 riders) and Stockholm (4500 riders) but this will be the first time one will be held in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Union Cycliste Internationale-sanctioned event will be delivered by IRONMAN in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland and Sunshine Coast Council.
"We couldn't be more excited about bringing another world class event to the Sunshine Coast,” IRONMAN Oceania managing director Dave Beeche said.
Significantly, it will be held at the same time as the Tour de France.
"We wanted to create the ultimate winter cycling experience on and off the bike that will satisfy every cycling need,” Beeche said.
"The essence of the concept is to get friends or family together for a cycling holiday, ride their bike every day in a great climate, through stunning countryside, and then sit back and relax in the event hub on Mooloolaba waterfront watching Tour highlights and reminiscing about the days riding.”
Riders will be based in the event hub in Mooloolaba and will start each day's stage from there.
Each day's course will take in a different part of the Sunshine Coast's stunning natural environment.
Within the route is an ascent of the Obi Obi range.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Kate Jones said the Velothon Sunshine Coast would draw thousands of athletes from across the world.
"With its incredible event success and stunning locations the Sunshine Coast is just the place to host the Velothon for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere,” she said.
"This event will tap into the massive global cycling movement, offering thousands of athletes an amazing opportunity to compete and enjoy a Queensland holiday.”
That the Sunshine Coast has secured the event enhances its reputation as a hub for endurance sport.
"Being chosen as the first area in Australia to host this new event is a testament to the region's ability to stage major events,” Mayor Mark Jamieson said.
"In the coming months we will work closely with event organiser to ensure that our residents are aware of the event course and supportive of the event as a whole.”
The region held the Ironman 70.3 World Championship this year and regularly holds the Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast, the Noosa Triathlon, the Mooloolaba Triathlon and the Sunshine Coast Marathon.
It also boasts the Noosa Ultimate Sports Fest, Sunshine Coast CycleFest and a whole range of other swim, bike and run events.
Check out the website for more info www.velothonsunshinecoast.com
VELOTHON SUNSHINE COAST
. Three-day Velo ride from Friday to Sunday with each day being between 90km and 155km.
. One-day Velo ride on the Sunday with two distance options from 95km and 155km
. Participants can also enter as a team of four, in the three-day event, with the three best times combining for their stage finish time.
. Velo Clubhouse event hub on the Mooloolaba waterfront providing highlights of the Tour.
. Cycling sports expo
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.