The 2022 UCI Road World Championships are projected to deliver a $95 million boost to the Illawarra region, and it's not just bicycle shops that are going to benefit.
Helensburgh bicycle mechanic Dan Irwin is encouraging Wollongong businesses to get involved with the September road race.
"With a world-class event - and entourage - like this comes to town, we have teams, mechanics, people that are attached to the logistics of all those team, and not to mention the officials and volunteers, they're all going to want good coffee, good lunch, cool experiences and see what else the region has to offer as well," he said.
In the 2021 version of the event, held in the Flanders region of Belgium, a post-event study calculated that 27.4 million Euros, $A40.2 million, was injected into the local economy.
In addition to fixing up bikes, Mr Irwin also operates a mountain bike clinic called RideAus, and says that the facilities that the Illawarra already has mean that cycling is only going to further develop with the arrival of the world's best.
"We've got some pretty cool spaces to really jump in and have a crack at cycling, whether it is mountain biking, commuting, cycle paths for families or pump tracks for the kids," he said.
Cycling's global governing body, UCI, along with Wollongong Council is working towards a package of support for Illawarra businesses.
"Destination Wollongong are currently liaising with a range of event and local stakeholders to develop ways for business to prepare to make the most of Wollongong's Olympic moment, The UCI Road World Cycling Championship in September 2022," said Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh.
"It is envisaged that these plans will be rolled out over the next couple of months to allow businesses the best chance to prepare to make the most of the opportunity."
"We love it when businesses and residents ask how they can get involved in Wollongong 2022, and we want as many people as possible to be part of Wollongong's Olympic moment," said Wollongong 2022 CEO Stu Taggart.
"There will be many ways to join in the action from volunteering and participating in Ride Nation bike education programs in schools, to joining community activities in the lead up to and during the event," he said.
Already, the NSW government through Sport NSW has funded a number of cycling focused projects as part of the 2022 Road World Championships Wollongong Legacy Partnerships Program.
These range from bicycle tracks to promoting safe cycling routes to and from schools.
Mr Irwin said this supports the community clubs to engage more broadly with the community and promote cycling as a sport to a wider demographic.
"It's not just the competition," he said. "Yes, that'll be phenomenal, but it'd be great to see a more positive attitude towards cyclists, whether commuting through the local cycling routes in CBD on the cycle paths and on the roads."
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