City gears up to host stars of cycle track
The junior track world championships have been three years in the making and Invercargill is ready for the world's attention, organisers say.
Cycling Southland chief executive Nick Jeffrey said Invercargill and the Stadium Southland Velodrome would be showcased at the championships, which would bring economic benefits.
It was hard to put a dollar figure on the returns but he expected the 250 international riders and officials, as well as their supporters, would give Invercargill a significant boost.
"We have almost taken over the town organising the championships . . . you can't get a bed in Invercargill, believe me we have tried to get some for a few latecomers," he said.
The championships were a chance to showcase cycling to the people of Southland and its velodrome to the world, he said.
"The world of cycling will see for themselves what a world-class facility we have here," he said.
The eyes of the track cycling world would be on Invercargill during the next week and it was Cycling Southland's chance to live up to its reputation of being a powerhouse and show that it could match events with the quality of riders it produced, he said.
He was proud five Cycling Southland members had made it into the New Zealand junior team.
The Stadium Southland Velodrome was known as one of the fastest in the world, which was what riders wanted, he said.
"Riders want to come here to beat their personal bests and break records. That is what we are hoping for this week."
Mr Jeffrey said support from the region had been great throughout the planning of the event and tickets were almost sold out.
Limited standing tickets were released yesterday.
It had been a bit bit surreal leading up to the event but when team members from 24 countries started arriving last week, the enormity of the event started to sink in, he said.
The event was driven by Southlanders who had expertise with international events, so he was confident it would run smoothly.
"Everything is in place now, we are ready to deliver. All we need now is for the riders to put on a show and we know that will definitely happen," he said.
Invercargill Licensing Trust (ILT) sales and marketing manager Gary Muir said the championships would provide a huge boost to the city.
"An event of this magnitude will be a huge benefit to the city, showcasing what we have to offer," he said.
Most ILT accommodation was almost full.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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