Sun Tour brings ben­e­fits to Mans­field

Mansfield Courier - - News -

WHEN a cy­cling tour such as the Her­ald Sun Tour comes to town you would ex­pect an eco­nomic boost and per­haps other ben­e­fits.

This past week­end saw some 90 pro­fes­sional cy­clists, along with their en­tourages, hit Mans­field and Mt Buller and sur­round­ing district for one day only.

There were of course many cy­cling en­thu­si­asts out to watch the progress of the race which com­menced out­side the CFA fire sta­tion on Satur­day morn­ing around 10.30am.

The pre­vi­ous night the rid­ers and team sup­port were ac­com­mo­dated in town with the ma­jor­ity stay­ing at the Alzburg Inn.

Along with the pro­fes­sional cy­cling teams of course comes the ‘es­corts’, mo­tor­cy­clists en­gaged to sup­port the rid­ers, and the po­lice mo­tor­cy­clists and ad­di­tional cars.

The Mans­field Mo­tel ben­e­fited by ac­com­mo­dat­ing mainly the po­lice es­corts while the Mans­field Val­ley Mo­tor Inn also hosted some rid­ers and their sup­port crews.

But did the town ben­e­fit from the tour?

Con­sid­er­ing this event still had one day to go, and an early morn­ing start, it was not ex­pected that the cy­clists would ‘party’ or be out on the town.

But they did go out and eat in the lo­cal ho­tels and restaurant­s be­fore call­ing it an early night.

So what were the ben­e­fits? Mans­field Shire eco­nomic and de­vel­op­ment man­ager Derek Beau­ty­man said this event at­tracts a lot of fol­low­ers, some even com­ing from in­ter­state just to watch.

“And it is live streamed glob­ally so the mar­ket­ing of the Mans­field brand­ing is big and will be an ad­van­tage,” he said.

Mr Beau­ty­man said around the world it is es­ti­mated that more than 1.5 mil­lion peo­ple would be watch­ing by live stream.

“Face­book hits are es­ti­mated at more than 200,000 and Youtube also 200,000 so for an in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence to see our district is a huge bonus,” Mr Beau­ty­man said.

“Dol­lars are gen­er­ated through ac­com­mo­da­tion book­ings and meals – and we need customers so hope­fully some will re­turn and oth­ers will be en­cour­aged to come.

“There is a huge cy­cling fra­ter­nity out there and showing our district to the world can only be good.”

Mans­field is be­com­ing more and more pop­u­lar with cy­clists and in the lead up to Mans­field’s own big week­end of cy­cling, the Mans­field Subaru Tour over March 21 and 22, the Sun Tour may have en­cour­aged a few more vis­i­tors to hit the High Coun­try.

Tolmie Sports were also be­ing held on the same day and apart from the traf­fic in­ter­rup­tions would have gained some ben­e­fits from the ad­di­tional pub­lic­ity both prior and dur­ing the race.

Traf­fic in High Street was dis­rupted for only about an hour with the clo­sure of Highett Street from Curia Street (from 5.30am), through the round­about down the north side of High Street and out to the Tolmie-Whit­field Road for the first start of the race.

Once the cy­clists had com­pleted the Bar­wite Loop it was back into town, down Chen­ery Street (closed again for a short time) and then up the Tolmie-Whit­field Road for the ma­jor first climb of the Mans­field leg.

“The cy­clists move faster than you may first think so the dis­rup­tion to traf­fic was min­i­mal,” Mr Beau­ty­man said.

Once a loop of Tolmie had been com­pleted it was back down to Mt Buller Road and head­ing for the big hill – Mt Buller where Stage 4 of the race came to a con­clu­sion.

Mt Buller would have gained ben­e­fits with the ad­di­tional tele­vi­sion cov­er­age of the moun­tain.

But spec­ta­tors and cy­cling en­thu­si­asts would have had some grand view­points to watch the ex­cit­ing end of the race where Si­mon Yates was ex­pected to take out the stage win.

Mr Beau­ty­man said tours such as this would be wel­comed in Mans­field at any time as it is just not the eco­nomic boost to traders but the pub­lic­ity is a huge ad­van­tage for our tourism.

“It re­in­forces our district to a na­tional and in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence as a cal­i­bre cy­cling des­ti­na­tion.”

PHOTO: San­dra Lee Pho­tog­ra­phy

BIG WEEK­END: The week­end fs race saw 90 cy­clists, along with their en­tourages and fans, hit Mans­field and Mt Buller and sur­round­ing dis­tricts.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.