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‘Perth is in the mix’ – Aussie Road Nationals could be heading west

AusCycling says Perth is one of several options. The City of Perth has approved sponsoring the event for three years.

Matt de Neef
by Matt de Neef 22.11.2023 Photography by
Paul Arky/Unsplash
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Perth has emerged as a frontrunner to host Australia’s Road Nationals between 2025 and 2027 – after council documents revealed this week that AusCycling has been approved for a hefty sponsorship.

In a council meeting held earlier this week, the City of Perth approved AusCycling’s application for a Major Events and Festivals Sponsorship worth $250,000 for each of the 2025, 2026 and 2027 editions of Road Nationals, for a total of $750,000.

AusCycling’s executive general manager of sport, Kipp Kaufmann, told Escape that while the funding had been approved, no deal has been struck yet.

“Is Perth in the mix? Yes, Perth is in the mix, obviously,” he said. “It probably was always in the mix. I’ve always believed there’s only so many places that [Road Nationals] can be done well.

“But no, we haven’t signed or contracted anywhere. There is none of that. There is still finalisation that’s happening.”

While Kaufmann couldn’t say how many other locations are being considered as possible hosts of the 2025-2027 Road Nationals, he did confirm that there are several other contenders. He also said that, throughout the process of finding a new host, AusCycling has been in discussions with all state and territory governments except the Northern Territory, and in some cases AusCycling been in talks with “targeted local governments”.

When asked whether AusCycling has applied for sponsorships in other locations like it has in Perth, Kaufmann explained that the process of striking a deal differs from location to location.

“Perth has a bit more of a public process,” Kaufmann said, a nod to the fact Perth’s possible involvement was revealed through publicly available council documents. “Ballarat this year did a more public process … [but] they’d always done a closed-door process.

“In some cases it’s state government that we’re more dealing with. State government is always not a public process. In some cases, it’s both council and state government, depending on who leads it [or] it might just be state government and then they link in local council.”

The City of Perth documents show that the city’s financial support of Road Nats would be “subject to a suitable sponsorship agreement being entered into by the City of Perth and [AusCycling] on terms acceptable to the City within six months.”

AusCycling has advised the City of Perth that “it has secured three-year support from Tourism WA”, the tourism arm of the Western Australian government. AusCycling also noted in its sponsorship application that the total cost to run the three editions of Road Nationals would be $2.1 million. It’s not clear how much of that Tourism WA would be expected to contribute, or which other sponsors would help to cover the cost.

The City of Perth’s sponsorship is also dependent on AusCycling maintaining its funding from the WA government for three years. Funding for years two and three is also contingent on the city being satisfied that:

So if Road Nationals does go to Perth, what might the courses look like? Council documents reveal that Kings Park in the heart of Perth would be the “race venue” for the road race – presumably the start and finish location. The criteriums would be held somewhere in the Perth CBD while “other locations for time trials and community activation” would need to be confirmed. Final courses and event locations would be subject to approval from Main Roads – the body responsible for WA’s road network – WA Police, and the City of Perth.

The news about Perth’s possible involvement comes after AusCycling flagged its intention to move the championships away from Ballarat after next January’s 18th-straight edition in the Victorian city. Ballarat also hosted the 2002, 2003, and 2004 editions, meaning that, as of January 2024, Road Nationals will have been in the same location for 21 of the last 23 editions.

AusCycling had initially been planning to announce the venue for the 2025-27 Road Nats by the end of this year, but that’s now been pushed back.

“I know we said December but what we’ve agreed to with Ballarat is to wait till after their championships and celebrate their 21st year and then announce,” Kaufmann said.

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