ARTIST and illustrator Ben Sanders enjoys walking up to the Sturt Street criterium each summer for the AusCycling Road National Championships - often grabbing a coffee on the way.
The children's book author has illustrated for major international brands such as Apple, Wall Street Journal, Natural Confectionery Company and Harrods of London. But he does not think his work has featured on a coffee up. Until now.
City of Ballarat commissioned four hometown artists to create a series of limited edition coffee cups to be distributed to Buninyong and Ballarat hospitality venues during this week's RoadNats.
Sanders, who also designed Ballarat Cycle Classic jerseys, will have his cycle-inspired design to feature alongside illustrator Anthony Mitchell, contemporary artist Katie Chancellor and Salt Bush Kitchen mixed media artist Bridget Corcoran.
For Sanders, it was creatively a fun brief with Ballarat proving bike riding was synonymous with breaks for good coffee.
"I've seen the riders stopping along our cafes in other years," Sanders said. "I know riders stop for coffees, but my illustration is a rider so obsessed he's taken the coffee with him on the ride - the road being the steam off the top of the coffee as the fuel to get him from Buninyong to Ballarat was caffeine."
Sanders said he enjoyed working on Ballarat-focused projects and it was also a way friends and family could see more of his work.
City of Ballarat deputy mayor Amy Johnson said the project would promote Ballarat's creatives to a wide audience during RoadNats, both to visitors and a global broadcast audience.
"While we have all these visitors to Ballarat, why not pair cycling and coffee and add in our local creatives?" Cr Johnson said.
"The City of Ballarat has been a major partner in the Road National Championships for the past 16 years and fantastic ideas like this really highlight this year's AusCycling theme: 'There's more to the Road Nats than just us'."
RoadNats action starts Wednesday. Evening criterium action is on Friday.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.