BALLARAT has further cemented its reputation as the home of Australian road cycling.
Amy’s Ride, one of Australia’s largest recreational bike rides, will take place in Buninyong on January 13 to coincide with the Cycling Australia Road National Championships.
It is named after Ballarat cyclist Amy Gillett, who was killed in 2005 when she was hit by a car while training in Germany.
Ballarat Regional Tourism chairman Stuart Benjamin said it was an exciting coup for her hometown.
“There are huge numbers of people who take part in the Amy Gillett ride. It’s always been widely patronised,” Mr Benjamin said.
After Amy’s death, the Amy Gillett Foundation was set up by her husband Simon to create a safer bike riding environment, with Amy’s Rides now also held annually in other states.
The Victorian ride began in Geelong in 2006 but is moving to Ballarat due to changes in the summer cycling calendar, with the Bay Classic it usually partnered with moving to a mid-week event.
The Geelong 2012 event attracted more than 2000 cyclists, with Australia’s Tour de France winner and Amy Gillet Foundation ambassador Cadel Evans also taking part in previous rides.
Mr Benjamin said hosting the ride would be very exciting.
“It opens up the whole recreational cycling market,” he said.
“It fits in with the whole jigsaw of cycling in January that we’ve been developing over the past five years.”
Amy Gillett Foundation chairman Duncan Murray said Cycling Australia’s backing would help the foundation concentrate on vital safety program delivery.
“The support that Cycling Australia is providing ... is a very significant step in the evolution of our organisation,” Mr Murray said.
The ride will include 20-kilometre, 70-kilometre and 100-kilometre events.