2019 FedUni RoadNats: An Event a City can be proud of

Cyclists take over Sturt Street as the 2019 FedUni RoadNats gets underway

2019 saw the return of the FedUni Cycling Australia Road National Championships, cementing Ballarat as the home of cycling in Australia.

“We are so proud of the growth of this wonderful event.” said Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh, “I have no doubt the revamped schedule will make Ballarat the ultimate New year destination.”

The RoadNats have become a much-loved and highly-regarded event in our community, and it shows on the proud faces of our residents and business owners who continue to welcome visitors into their shops, restaurants and cafes.

It was a big week of racing to start 2019 with the FedUni Road National Championships back in Ballarat / Buninyong. A change to the cycling program saw the criterium on Sturt Street kick things off with a Friday night spectacle that was enjoyed by over 7,500 spectators. The next four days saw the road races and time trials weave through the Buninyong landscape bringing visitors from all around Australia to witness this elite sporting event.

Leveraging this national event, the community in Ballarat and Buninyong embraced the cycling events and put their own spin on the racing. The Ballarat CBD streetscape was transformed with a dozen vibrant and creative bikes lining Sturt Street. The art bike project included six local artists delivering a bike of their own design, while also working with a local community group to deliver a second cycle collaboration. The end result was brilliant with ducks, pigs, dogs and giraffes all finding their way into the creative designs.

In Buninyong, the community continued to deliver on the creative city strategy with three key projects: art bikes / windows, red bikes and paddock art. Local artist Annie Ross from Studio 408 Buninyong oversaw the art bikes and shop windows with local artists and not for profit organisations, while Roger Permezel coordinated the red bikes in conjunction with the Buninyong Men’s Shed and Buninyong Primary School. Adam Fraser, a local farmer, was the man responsible for delivering the Buninyong Bicycle and Minion hay bale art.

Over the duration of the event, SBS and Fox Sports captured some excellent footage of the art works and televised this nationally, and the commentary team spoke highly of the community engagement efforts – particularly the art!

The Ballarat Art Bikes will now be displayed in the Backspace Gallery for the coming weeks for those who haven’t yet had the chance to see these incredible installations.

The community working group had also been working with local artists and others to create a Buninyong-themed “atmosphere” around the course for cyclists, spectators and those watching the race on television from all around the country.

The popular red bikes returned complete with baskets of petunias and other flowers adding to the colour and occasion of the cycling event. De Soza Park was also a hive of activity throughout the weekend with a range of children’s activities and family-friendly fun organised, including jumping castle, face painting and more.