A devoted cycling fan has travelled almost 15,000km just to volunteer for the UCI Road World Championships.
Vincent Schuurhuis, 41, flew from the Netherlands to dedicate his week to the world class event in Wollongong. And it isn't his first rodeo.
This is the fourth UCI championships in a row Vincent has volunteered at, and he is loving every minute.
"Going to a completely new country to volunteer is the best way to experience it," he said.
"You can go on holiday to a resort, but you don't really get to meet the locals that way. That, and the passion for cycling, is the main focus of volunteering for me."
Volunteering over the eight-day event has been tiring but incredibly rewarding, Vincent said, however Wollongong has proven a "beautiful place" to wind down after a long day.
Vincent arrived a few days ahead of the championships and quickly bought himself a bike to see the sights.
"It's beautiful here, I've loved exploring the area," he said. "I've been on the major beach route (Blue Mile), I bought a bike just so I could ride it.
"Of course I went to the Sea Cliff Bridge to ride that for myself, and also Lake Illawarra. You get such different scenery in one place here."
One of Vincent's favourite things about volunteering is getting up close and personal to the action on the challenging race route.
And watching the success of Dutch riders Ellen Van Dijk and Shirin Van Anrooij has been the cherry on top.
"And I think more medals for Dutch riders will come," Vincent said.
"But I think everybody who wins here deserves to be the world champion and wear the rainbow jersey."
In his role as team leader, Vincent provides support to the hundreds of course marshal volunteers by ensuring they understand where they have to be, and also imparts his cycling knowledge onto them.
"Some people call me the boss, but I am just a support person for them," he said. "The most important thing as a volunteer is to just enjoy yourself."
Among the over 1500 UCI volunteers donning their bright blue uniforms is Towradgi resident Catherine Feldhausen, who has enjoyed the buzzing atmosphere of the volunteers' daily workforce check-in.
"I have absolutely loved it," Catherine said. "I've come in jazzed every day, it's just infectious."
She said a day in the life of a volunteer changes daily, but typically involves waking up bright and early, before the blue stampede of volunteers check-in daily at Innovation Campus.
They then board a bus and are deployed to their designated spot on the race route.
Catherine usually dedicates her time to volunteering at the Towradgi Surf Club and Holy Spirit College Parents and Friends.
The UCI is her first major event she has volunteered at, which she saw as an unmissable opportunity to "get involved locally and support the community".
The volunteers have been front and centre at the event, and a key focal point for the 1000 athletes from 70 countries.
Wollongong 2022 CEO Stu Taggart said the event simply couldn't be made possible without them.
"They are amazing, they really energise our team ... we can't thank them enough," he said.
We've made it a whole lot easier for you to have your say. Our new comment platform requires only one log-in to access articles and to join the discussion on the Illawarra Mercury website. Find out how to register so you can enjoy civil, friendly and engaging discussions. Sign up for a subscription here.Environmental groups have released footage of what they say is run off from a coal mine near Helensburgh.