Gran Fondo: council defers decision on cycling event

Gran Fondo: council defers decision on cycling event

A DECISION on the Gran Fondo cycle race has been deferred to a later meeting by the City of Swan after councillors raised concerns over the route, date and timing of the final event.

Event organiser David Sierakowski said he had been through a brutal de-briefing of the event with his team since the first race was held in March and planned the final in September.

Mr Sierakowski said he had employed an events manager, consultant Chris Letts to help manage the issues associated with the event from March.

Councillor Darryl Trease said he was concerned so many businesses in the Swan Valley had potentially lost money during the last event when tourism was the main drawcard for the owner operators in the Swan Valley.

“We can’t block the roads off for this if they are missing out on business,” Cr Trease said.

“Easter is critical to the survival of these businesses as is Father’s Day in September.”

Cr David McDonnell said the council was keen to approve the event but it had to fit in with the overall tourism management plan.

He asked if the date of the event could be moved but Mr Letts informed him the dates were set by international cycling’s peak body, the Union Cycliste Internationale, so could not be changed.

Mr Sierakowski said his group was keen to not repeat the mistakes of the first event but defended the situation as the race peloton was 10 times the size of that at the Tour de France.

Cr Daniel Parasiliti suggested the event could be run earlier in the morning so as not impact on tourism in the Swan Valley.

“You guys in the lycra brigade like to get up early, why not start the race so the whole thing is over by noon?”

His suggestion was ignored by the event organisers.

Council deferred the decision until a future meeting when more information would be available about the route and timing of the event.