November 10th, 2022Mountain biking coup
THE state’s selection of the Creswick Trails to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games mountain biking competition has big implications for local business and the town’s future.
“You can’t buy that sort of exposure,” Business and Tourism Creswick acting
president and secretary Margaret Giles said.
“I would imagine it will represent a huge injection of funds into the community
but it’s also the ongoing exposure that’s invaluable,” Ms Giles said.
“It’s very exciting and a wonderful opportunity for Creswick. Creswick is growing
and an event like this just adds to people’s awareness of where Creswick is, and what
it has to offer.”
Hepburn Shire Mayor Cr Tim Drylie foresees the Creswick Trails network
becoming one of Australia’s leading mountain biking destinations.
“The Creswick Trails project will deliver 60 kilometres of world-class mountain
bike trails built in and around the regional park, state forest and plantation lands of
And work is now underway on the town’s Hammon Park Trailhead which
Hepburn Shire CEO Bradley Thomas says will serve as a start and finish focal point
for the trail-based competition during the Games.
The impressive multi-level pump track complex being developed there is shaping
as a complementary all-ages community asset and a venue for local, regional and
national events long into the future.
“This will hopefully be finished around Christmas and will be a permanent fixture
that will be well utilised by families and youth,” Mr Thomas says of the trailhead
pump track complex.
Meanwhile, tenders to build the trails themselves have closed and the council is
working through the formal tender evaluation process with a report regarding the
appointment of a successful tenderer due to go before the November 15 council
Mr Thomas says construction of the Creswick Trails themselves is anticipated to
start early next year, with work to be completed mid-2024.
“There’s a fair bit of construction work for the trails. They will range from easy
through to elite – which will be used for the Games that millions of people around
Australia are going to be watching,” he says.
Those already keenly anticipating trying them out include members of the VOGA
local cycle club whose membership spans road cyclists and mountain bikers through
to BMX and juniors.
“It will be a race to be the first person to ride them,” VOGA president and keen
local mountain biker, David Tannard said.
“In terms of hosting the Commonwealth Games in Creswick it’s just amazing. It
just brings a spotlight to Creswick.
The anticipated economic and visitation fillip is something businesses may need
to start thinking about and planning for now, Ms Giles suggests.
“I guess staffing is going to be a big issue. It already is. It gives businesses an
opportunity to prepare, to look at their business and maybe do a new business plan.”
From left, CEO Bradley Thomas, VOGA cycling club president David
Tannard, mayor Cr Tim Drylie (seated), VOGA cycling club treasurer Bradley
Martin and Cr Don Henderson at Creswick’s Hammon Park Trailhead pump
track. Words & image: Eve Lamb