Today it was announced that Marianne Vos will be visiting Western Australia in November with one of her Rabo-Liv team-mates to ride both the ‘Breakaway WA’ mass-participation ride as well as the Tour of Margaret River stage race.
Ms Vos: building to profile of an event
The days are getting longer and warmer. The football finals are almost over and the hype is beginning to build for the concept of a ‘Summer of Cycling’ around Australia.
We already know that 2017 will begin with the first two WorldTour events of the calendar: the Santos Tour Down Under, followed by the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in and around Geelong.
But before the end of the year, one of the most celebrated cyclists of this generation will make an appearance on her bike in Western Australia.
“It was announced by the Premier of WA, Colin Barnett, today that Marianne Vos will be coming to Western Australia for the week of our events,” said Brendan Morrison, the promoter of the Tour of Margaret River.
The 29-year-old Rabo-Liv rider will be joined by fellow Dutchwoman, Moniek Tenniglo, for the visit to Western Australia.
“We’ve traditionally been a pro-am event,” said Morrison, “but, wanting to build the event, we’ve been looking at opportunities around that.
“Obviously to be another WorldTour event in Australia would be extraordinarily difficult but we think ultimately we can create a world-class event for women cyclists.
“Marianne is a logical progression towards that point.
“From the moment of our approach through to the confirmation that she would like to ride in Western Australia, she’s expressed excitement about the prospect of coming. She seems to have a really adventurous spirit and there’s a general enthusiasm to most things she is involved with.”
The NRS of 2016 may be suffering but the uptake of mass-participation events around Australia continues.
Only last weekend, we saw the running of the Robbie McEwen Granfondo on the Gold Coast. Sydney is turning on the good weather in advance of it’s ‘Spring Cycle’ series of events. The Peak Challenge series by the Bicycle Network continue to gain traction. And, of course, the Tour Down Under and CEGORR have become established as ideal cycling holidays in Australia.
And now The Wonderful Ms Vos is coming back to ride her bike in Western Australia.
The multiple world champion and Olympic gold medallist was on the podium when she raced the worlds in Geelong in 2010, finishing second to Giorgia Bronzini in the road race.
Morrison explains some of Vos’ itinerary when she arrives in WA: “We have a series of rides – Breakaway WA – which is showing off more of the state in the lead-up to the Tour of Margaret River. So for us it’s kind of like a progression from a three-day stage race into a longer tour.
“She’ll be visiting some of those regions and iconic tourist destinations and then we’ll sort of be using her presence in those locations to help build the profile of our event.”
The summer of cycling is almost upon us but there’s not shortage of destinations for Australian cycling fans to visit, and a growing contingent of champions to ride with.
“We’re only six weeks away from the event which already has the 100 teams that it needs so it’s more about drawing a bit of attention to the event so that people will start to consider it for next year,” concludes Morrison. “The Breakaway WA is a series of five rides in five different locations and it shows off this part of the state quite well.”
– By Rob Arnold