One of the most iconic events in Australian cycling has been secured for the next three years, thanks to funding from the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Sport John Eren today announced the Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic will be held on February 16 next year, supported by the Labor Government’s Significant Sporting Events Program.
The ‘Warni’ was first raced in 1895 and is the second oldest one-day cycling race in the world. It has traditionally been run in Spring and featured many great amateur and professional riders including Sir Hubert Opperman, Russell Mockridge and Simon Gerrans, while also being a launch pad for many local aspiring riders.
Rescheduling the race to February means it will now dovetail perfectly into the Australian Summer of Cycling – increasing international interest, tourism and participation.
In 2019 the race will start at Avalon Airport and finish in the heart of Warrnambool at the event village where there’ll be activities for locals, live entertainment and a celebration of all the finishers of Australia’s toughest one-day classic.
The event will also incorporate the ‘Lets Ride Schools program’ – Cycling Australia's national junior riding program which teaches kids to ride safely by developing knowledge, skills and confidence.
The Labor Government’s $17.7 million Significant Sporting Events Program supports organisations to deliver sporting events that are national or international in focus or have regional significance and are recognised by a relevant sporting body.
The investment will secure more than 300 sporting events for Victoria over the next four years of which more than half will be held in regional Victoria. This brings competitors and tourists to local towns, stimulates local economies and gets more Victorians active and healthy through sport.
The funding is part of the Labor Government’s ongoing investment in sports and active recreation, to encourage all Victorians to get out there and get active.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 included almost half a billion dollars to ensure sport and active recreation go from strength-to-strength.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Sport John Eren
“Shifting the classic to February adds to Victoria’s festival of cycling and cements our reputation as the powerhouse of Australian cycling.”
“We’re encouraging all Victorians to embrace a more active and healthy lifestyle and seeing the best cyclists in the world competing in our own background will inspire many to give cycling a go.”
Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney
“This event is a wonderful way to showcase Western Victoria and will give an economic boost to the communities along the route.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020