ELITE cyclists will roll into Ballarat by Friday but bright, bold bicycles are already popping up along Sturt Street.
Sport and art worlds have collided in creative installations along the criterium course ahead of the Cycling Australia Road National Championships.
The diverse collection brings together 12 bikes from six artists, each artist pairing with a community group for one installation. All bikes had to incorporate national colours green and gold.
Ballarat artist Melinda Muscat, who worked with Centre for Multicultural Youth, said the project sparked more interest for her in the championships. She hoped the installations would encourage both cycling enthusiasts and intrigued art fans to venture into the city to see what the event was all about.
“It’s nice to connect sport and art together,” Ms Muscat said. “The bikes bring more colour to the streets and and add to the atmosphere.”
City of Ballarat councillor Daniel Moloney said the art creates a whole difference perspective to the championships. Cr Moloney said there was lots of potential in blending sport and art – traditionally two completely separate disciplines – particularly in livening up sporting facilities. The cycling championships was a great starting point.
Cr Moloney said the installations built on pop-up art in Ballarat’s centre, like the Christmas trail and Biennale of Australian Art.
A group of artists in Buninyong have also been creating cycling-themed installations about the town for championships’ prominent road rides at the weekend.
Bicycle installed in Sturt Street will feature in an exhibition in Backspace Gallery later this month.
Prepare journeys to avoid road closures
ROAD closures in central Ballarat will start to roll out on Thursday afternoon to prepare for an expanded, bumper criterium program.
Dawson Street, flanking Sturt Street between Mair and Dana streets and the median, will close from 2pm a day ahead of Cycling Australia Road National Championships to prepare the start/finish precinct.
Sturt Street will close from Grenville to Raglan streets, at Friday 6am and remain closed until 10pm.
Traffic will be able to travel along Doveton Street (Midland Highway), crossing of Sturt Street, until 9.30am.
Those needing to enter or cross the central business district are urged to plan ahead and find alternate routes. Parking will also be restricted in the central precinct.
Nationals criterium action will start at 11am with the under-19 women’s title up for grabs.
The program will introduce a fixed gear national race for a chance to watch bike without brakes or gears tackle the sloped Sturt Street course. Racing will start at 1pm for the 15-lap event.
A community free ride is also back on the program ahead of the new national teams criterium race, which will feature Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club.
Under-23 men kick action up a gear at 4.10pm ahead of the 30-lap (33-kilometre) elite and under-23 women’s race at 5.20pm with the elite men’s 40-lap (44km) title race from 6.40pm.
Road closures and traffic restrictions will also be in place in Buninyong from Saturday for four days’ racing, including road races and time trials.
Further details: roadnationals.org.au.
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