Early figures indicate the five-day Federation University Cycling Road Nationals was the most successful event yet.
Audience numbers are believed to have exceeded 20,000, which includes a 10 per cent increase in the Criterium audience in the Ballarat CBD.
Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh said it was also fantastic to see many locals stay in Ballarat to experience the thrill and excitement of the event, and encouraged more locals to do the same in 2020.
“Our beautiful city of Ballarat and the village of Buninyong were put on a national and international stage,” Cr McIntosh said.
“Our renowned Federation University, which is the event sponsor, should be commended on not only how well it promoted itself to potential students but also on how it creatively provided hands-on development opportunities during the event for current students.
Cr McIntosh said the world-first hosting of the ecycling event also proved very popular and was expected to be a future growth area.
“We have a wonderful calendar of events over the whole summer season.
“The Road Nationals are a vital part of our 10-year event strategy and we are looking to ensure year-on-year development of all the events we support and run.”
Cr McIntosh said the change to a Friday night Criterium event in the Ballarat CBD had a very positive effect, with valuable flow-ons from the visitor economy for local hospitality and accommodation providers.
“The national and international media coverage for both Ballarat and Buninyong is believed to have been bigger and better than other years and is valued in the millions.
“We also want to thank the Buninyong community for the way they have embraced the event and looked for ways to capitalise on it as a township.
“It’s also great to see our Creative City Strategy, although still in draft form, starting to have an impact with the artistically presented bike sculptures around the town as part of the Ballarat Art Bikes project.
“We look forward to see locals and visitors alike at the 2020 Federation University Cycling Road Nationals.”