Wagga prepares to host two major mountain bike events in Pomingalarna
Wagga’s new multi-sport cycling complex will host two major mountain biking events this year, confirming Mayor Dallas Tout’s theory.
“Build it and they will come,” he said.
“We built it, worked together to get this in partnership with other levels of government and now we have two national events in the first year of opening.”
‘Field of Dreams’ moment results from partnership Between Wagga City Council and sport governing body AusCycling, to use the $12 million facility at Pomingalarna.
In August, approximately 400 runners will take part in the 2022 AusCycling Marathon National Championship (XCM) followed by 130 competitors arriving in October for the 2022 Mountain Bike National Gold Level Cross Country Olympic (XCO).
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Ben Creighton oversaw the development of the ccomplex for the town of Wagga Council and said the high-stakes nature of the event will shine a spotlight on the city.
“The marathon itself is the real national championship, so it will determine who is the best in Australia,” he said.
“But it’s also very important from the point of view that we can start to present the facilities that we have here.”
Mr. Creighton affirmed the council’s ongoing commitment to developing the sport and involving the wider community.
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“We’re looking at things like ‘come and try’ days where people can just come and borrow a bike and have a chance to try out some of the different activities here at Pomingalarna,” he says.
Local mountain bike club secretary Nathan Gregor describes the sport as an “underground movement” but says there is no doubt interest is growing.
“I’ve spoken to people from Canberra, mountain bike clubs and BMX clubs who come here regularly on weekends now because we have this great facility here,” he says.
“It will create fierce competition in the region, I think.
“I’ve seen the bike shops, just talking to these guys, they’re going full throttle all the time. They had to close for several days just to catch up on work.
Weekends are getting busier The Pomingalarna facility expands.
“If you go out on a Sunday at lunchtime, there will be at least 50 to 60 people here at a time… I think it’s really taken off here,” Mr Gregor says.
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According to Cr Tout, the complex is part of a wider strategy to encourage the “healthy and vibrant lifestyle” of cycling at all levels in the region, including active travel plans for non-regular cyclists.
But he stresses that it is not just cyclists who will benefit from the upcoming events.
“The direct economic benefit of these tours is approximately $600,000. But I mean it [the benefit to the wider community] is more the vibrancy and atmosphere it brings to the city,” he says.
the AusCycling (XCM) National Mountain Bike Marathon Championships will take place from August 13 to 14. the 2022 Mountain Bike National Gold Cross Country Olympic (XCO) is blocked from October 29 to 30.