Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anna Meares has been announced as the official ambassador for the inaugural Brisbane Cycling Festival in 2019.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said it was the ideal time to announce Meares as the ambassador, with a month to go before the 18-day celebration of cycling begins in Brisbane.
The festival, which was announced last year following the Commonwealth Games, was secured via Tourism and Events Queensland in partnership with Brisbane City Council via Brisbane Marketing and Cycling Queensland.
“It’s an absolute privilege to have a Queensland legend throw her support behind the inaugural Brisbane Cycling Festival,” Ms Jones said.
“Anna is an inspiration and has already given so much to the state, which is why we felt it was important to name the Anna Meares Velodrome in her honour prior to the Commonwealth Games last year.
“The Brisbane Cycling Festival is a unique proposition, inviting elite and amateur riders to come to Brisbane and participate across four separate events while staying on to enjoy the festival and what this city has to offer.
“We expect the festival to inject more than $8 million into the state’s economy this year. We invest in major events that deliver a strong return for our tourism industry and support local jobs – the Brisbane Cycling Festival does just that.
“When it comes to major events, the Palaszczuk Government has the runs on the board. We’ve more than doubled the value of Queensland’s events calendar since 2015 which is tipped to generate $800 million for our state this year.”
The Brisbane Cycling Festival will feature the Tour de Brisbane, Six Day Final and Cycling Australia’s Track National Championships.
Meares said the festival was an opportunity to celebrate Cycling in Brisbane and Queensland, with a great collection of events attracting the world’s best track and road cyclists to town.
“It was an honour to have a velodrome named after me in Brisbane and now to see more racing of such high calibre with world-class track cyclists from the Six Day Cycling Brisbane Final, to the sport’s next generation stars through Track Nationals racing on boards that bear my name is an absolute pleasure,” Ms Mears said.
“Brisbane Cycling Festival is a great opportunity to get to Brisbane for three weeks of cycling activities- families can participate in the Tour de Brisbane, soak up the Track Cycling of the Six Day Brisbane Final and get behind Australia’s best track cyclists.”
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the Brisbane Cycling Festival would be one of the biggest sporting festivals for the city this year.
“Brisbane Cycling Festival will be unlike anything Brisbane’s experienced before – three weeks of international professionals, elite domestic riders, up-and-coming talent and opportunities for the whole family to be involved,” Cr Quirk said.
“Anna is a sporting legend but luckily not everyone has to have her talent to be part of this unique event.
“Brisbane’s enviable outdoor lifestyle makes it an excellent cycling city and we want residents and visitors to experience the enjoyment of this growing sport.
“The Brisbane Cycling Festival will enhance our reputation as a major cycling destination, with participants drawn to the festival delivering an $8 million economic benefit to Brisbane, by supporting our local accommodation, retail, hospitality and service sectors.”
Cycling Queensland CEO Sean Muir said Anna Meares was the perfect ambassador for the Brisbane Cycling Festival.
“Anna Meares was the first Australian athlete to win a medal at four different Olympic Games during her career. It is great to have on board as a Brisbane Cycling Festival Ambassador,” he said.
The inaugural Brisbane Cycling Festival runs from March 28 to April 14.
View the full festival program here: www.brisbanecyclingfestival.com
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