MRC is riding high on new racing event

By Charmayne Allison

MURRAY River Council is set to sign a major three-year agreement with Mountain Bike Australia to host a National Cup Tier 1 event in Moama.

Council was presented with the proposal at its May council meeting, which resulted from its participation in Sports Marketing Australia’s (SMA) event placement program.

SMA is an organisation that actively promotes regional destinations to Australia’s peak sporting bodies, associations and clubs.

SMA have engaged with Mountain Bike Australia and offered council and the Echuca Moama Mountain Bike Club the opportunity to host a National Cup Tier 1 event in 2020 and a National Cup Tier 1 Event with UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) world championship points in 2021 and 2022.

“One of the goals highlighted in our Community Strategic Plan is a focus on strong and vibrant tourism through the development and promotion of national and international events,” mayor Chris Bilkey said.

“Securing these mountain bike events for a three-year period will provide an opportunity to not only grow the event but introduce our destination to people who may not have visited in the past.”

Five Mile Mountain Bike Track in Moama has been proposed as the venue for the 2020 event, with all parties currently working with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to gain approvals to use the facility.

The event runs two days and is expected to draw as many as 200 entrants along with spectators.

“It is anticipated it could deliver up to 400 room nights to local accommodation operators and additional benefits to retail, restaurant and entertainment venues,” Cr Bilkey added.

To secure the event is $5000 in 2020 and $7000 in 2021 and 2022 if the event is sanctioned by the UCI.

“This has a lot of promotional value and is a great way to get first-time visitors to our region,” Cr Bilkey said.