Tour of Toowoomba draws big crowds

13 May 2013

Local communities turned out in force to see some of the country’s bests cyclists competing on local roads in the Tour of Toowoomba last week.

Tour of Toowoomba Event Director John Osborne said the highlight of the tour was undoubtedly the New Hope Group-sponsored Stage Two, held on May 10.

Stage Two is a 123km road race starting at Crow’s Nest and going through Goombungee, Haden, Evergreen, Peranga and Quinalow before finishing at the summit of the Bunya Mountains.

New Acland General Manager Jim Randell joined race officials at the starting line for the important stage.

“Stage Two is definitely the signature stage of the whole event,” Mr Osborne said.

“The bike riders even refer to the Bunya Mountains in cycling colloquialism as Mount Bunya now.

“There are plenty of mountain ranges that they ride elsewhere in the other national road series events around the country, but I doubt there would be many other stages that would have such a tough lead up as this one.

“There are some rugged climbs coming out of Haden and then they have to crest the spur of the Great Dividing Range to head towards Peranga.

“It is a day of 120 kilometres of really tough riding before they even get to the real challenge at the end of the day which is the steepest climb to the peak of the Bunya Mountains.”

Mr Osborne said the decision to move the Tour of Toowoomba from June to May had paid dividends.

“This Tour is now rated by many well-known cycling aficionados as being among the top three tours in Australia,” he said.

“That is a considerable achievement in itself, especially when you realise that this Tour has only been going since 2010.

“We are always grateful for the sponsorship we can get for the event and New Hope has been involved since the early years as a sponsor.

“We couldn’t put an event like this together without the help of our sponsors.

“Events Queensland has also increased their sponsorship through the regional development program since 2011, which also shows the level of support is growing for the Tour.”

Mr Osborne said the Tour of Toowoomba brought economic benefits for the whole region.

“The benefit to the local economy is pretty obvious during the days of the tour itself, but there are also very significant economic benefits that are made behind the scenes,” he said.

“Whatever we possibly can we purchase locally – and that includes catering, uniforms for volunteers, corporate uniforms, signage, fuel – the list goes on.

“We also have a team of over 100 volunteers, not counting the officials, and our volunteers travel from as far as Sydney, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, northern New South Wales and north-west New South Wales.”