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Editions

Docklands – the cycling Hub of the world

31 Aug 2010

Docklands – the cycling Hub of the world Image

International cycling attention focuses on Melbourne and Geelong next month with the world championships which have been organised right here in Docklands.

Since before Christmas, Mike Palmer and a steadily-growing team have been working to organise the event from upstairs at Docklands’ community centre, The Hub.

By the time the Road World Championships start on September 29, the number of staff working on the event will have grown to about 80, not all based in Docklands.

Mr Palmer said his core crew of eight full-time staff at Docklands each had a contracted company reporting to them, which gave the organisation great human resource flexibility.

An embryonic team was based in the CBD until late last year, when it moved to The Hub at the invitation of the City of Melbourne.

“We’re loving it down here.  It gives us a lot of practical access for meetings and it’s easy to get to Geelong from here,” Mr Palmer said.

He said the fact that Docklands was also a commercial hub was also great for making approaches to potential sponsors.

“And the building itself is a lively place. It’s a great setting for a sporting organisation,” he said. “We particularly like children’s sing-along on Monday mornings at 11.  We’ve all got our favourite songs and we all join in now.”

The premier social event of the championships, the Gala Dinner, is being held at Peninsula, Central Pier, on September 30.

In another Docklands connection, Team Degani cycle shop owner and cycling legend John Trevorrow designed the championship course.

Mr Trevorrow designed the 16km Geelong street course about eight years ago before the Victorian Government bid for the event.

In another happy coincidence, Australian Cadel Evans is the defending champion.

“It couldn’t have been scripted better from our perspective,” Mr Palmer said.  “Let’s hope he wins again, but the attention he has drawn wearing the world champion’s jersey this year has been priceless.”

Other famous winners of the event have included Lance Armstrong, Eddie Merckx, Greg Lemond, Mario Cipollini as well as Australia’s Michael Rogers.  It is the first time in the event’s 77 year history that it has come to Australia.

Six world championship titles will be awarded:  Time trial and road race titles in the categories of under 23 men, elite women and elite professional men.  

All but the final race, the men’s road race will be staged in Geelong.  The 265km men’s road race on October 3 will begin at Federation Square and will head for Geelong before finishing with laps of the regular street circuit.

An exhibition by world-renowned cycling photographer Graham Watson will be held during the championships at the National Wool Museum in Moorabool St, Geelong.

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