The UCI has declared that the 2010 UCI World Championships have been a success for the UCI and for Australia.
Held last week in Geelong, the UCI World Championships attracted just fewer than 300,000 spectators across the 5 day program. A predicted global TV audience of 400 million watched the event; in attendance were riders from 53 countries and 543 riders representing those countries.
Small business owners that I spoke to in Geelong had mixed emotions about the 5 day program, those who where selling food, snacks and meals considered the event to be a success for their business’ but still continued to feel that the 5 day event was too long for some of the other business’ around them.
One business owner saying, “at least they’ll all stop moaning now the event is over.”
The final day of the event, Sunday 3rd of October saw 150,000 spectators verge on Geelong to watch the elite men race. Australian’s can be proud of their cyclists; we took gold, silver and bronze, leading the medal tally for the rest of the world.
Reactions have been coming in thick and fast from the organizers, indicating that Australia could in fact hold an event like this in the future, UCI President Pat McQuaid said, “It has been a decision which was an absolutely correct decision. I can tell you that the teams that are here and the team managers that are here and that have many, many years experience of cycling, world championships and major events, have said they’re absolutely happy with everything that has been laid on from here. They’re happy with the atmosphere, happy with the course, happy with the security, happy with everything.”
Although the lead up to the event was marred with negativity, Steve Bracks is overall pleased with the result and the people of Geelong, he said the following, “so many people from Geelong feel great pride, they keep yelling out that they’re so proud of Geelong. There’s a great sense of achievement here, an achievement this community can easily build on.”
Cadel Evens who defended the Rainbow Jersey with great pride said the following on Twitter, ‘THANK YOU EVERYONE! Thanks for all the support-quite the day. Pleasure and honour to race with/as Aussies today.’
Evan’s team mate Simon Gerrans confirmed the feeling on Twitter saying, ‘The crowd at the race yesterday was absolutely amazing. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen. Thanks to everyone who was there cheering us on!’
The next UCI World Championships will be held in Denmark, www.copenhagen2011.dk, we hope to see you there.
Photo : Sirotti