Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 30 Jan-2 Feb 2020
In 2020, Sport Projects delivered the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race for the third time. The sixth edition of the event was a huge success and certainly the best consumer and fan experience in the event’s history with a whole host of new and exciting innovations added to the program.
For the first time, Towards Zero Race Torquay was introduced, moved from Melbourne, to the vibrant surf town of Torquay. Fast and furious twilight racing dashed along the foreshore of Torquay’s front beach and out around a new 13km course. Crowds and beachgoers were thrilled by the sight of the world’s best on display, as a prelude to the weekend of World Tour racing for women and men.
The weather conditions across the four days of the event, Thursday through Sunday, were the most challenging that have been experienced by the event, with everything from 45 degree extreme heat, to severe thunderstorms, damaging winds and heavy downpours! The Sport Projects team were well prepared, with more than 100 staff and key personnel deployed across the venues and courses, as well as a team of agency partners, coordinating a response to any challenges that presented, from our central control room. What could be controlled, was controlled, by our big team of event experts, applying professionalism and a sense of calm across all parts of the event.
The racing itself was the best we have seen at the event. The course changes designed by our Race Director, produced the animation and unpredictability we wanted to achieve. From the warrior women that prevailed through epic conditions on Saturday, which unfortunately included a huge crash towards the end, to the dynamic and unpredictable race on Sunday, with a surprise result, sprinting out of a small breakaway for the win. In both races, Challambra and Melville were crucial in deciding the outcome, just as we hope. The bold and brave were rewarded in each case!
On Saturday, we managed to get all of our nearly 3,000 riders in the Peoples Ride, back home safely before the huge deluge arrived into Geelong and its surrounds. The decision to reduce the distance from 115km to 65km, completely validated. The distance might have been reduced but there was no shortage of smiles as they crossed the finish line on Geelong’s waterfront. Sunday morning was also full of smiles, after we made some accommodations, and allowed for a re-run of the canceled Family Ride. The extreme heat on Friday meant the Family Ride was a casualty, but the kids were still given the opportunity to take to part of the course on Sunday, riding under the famous gantry, just like the pros!
Events are almost never predictable but over the years we have been tested more times than most on the CEGORR, a logistically complex event that exists in a challenging time on the calendar. We work hard on predicting the unpredictable and building plans that allow us to absorb and respond to the challenges. This year was no exception and reflecting on it, means that we are even further prepared for future challenges, based on what we worked through in 2020!
Well done to the project team on their meticulous assembly of this event, certainly our largest project of the year. Thankyou also to all of the bigger team that makes this possible, our venue managers, our course crew, signage superstars, drivers, lifters, shifters, athlete assistants, the sport team, ConEx crusaders, commissaires and of course our very many volunteers!
UCI Tissot Track World Cup 13-15 Dec 2019
With near full stands every night, the first UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Australia since 2010 was a great success. With experience working with the UCI, with previous Track Cycling World Cups and with the Brisbane venue, through our Six Day work, Cycling Australia entrusted us with the task of delivering the first major event in the summer of cycling.
With the all-important qualifying points up for grabs as they look towards Tokyo 2020, the international teams turned out in force, with strong teams and large numbers. The venue was stretched to capacity, for the first time since the Commonwealth Games in 2018, but the Sport Projects team, and the Anna Meares Velodrome was able to respond. As truly one of the best velodromes in the world and with a friendly, helpful team of staff and volunteers assembled, in one of Australia’s very best cities, the experience for the UCI, athletes and teams was a great one.
Each day and night was filled to the brim with world-class racing, nation vs. nation, with the Australian team shining through by the end with the trophy for overall top performer of the Brisbane round! There were thrills and spills at times, with several major falls on the track, keeping the medical team busier than we usually like, but the entertainment for those in the venue and for those at home watching on 7 was constant.
Well done to our project team for all of their hard work to make this event a great success, for CA, the UCI, for the event’s partners and for Sport Projects ourselves. We can’t wait to get back to Brisbane in April for Six Day where tickets are still available for this cycling party!