Classic cycle race set to return

ANTICIPATION: Members of the Goulburn Cycle Club are excited to hear about the proposed return of the Goulburn to Camden race in September. The last race was cancelled in 2013 due to safety concerns. Photo: Mariam Koslay.
ANTICIPATION: Members of the Goulburn Cycle Club are excited to hear about the proposed return of the Goulburn to Camden race in September. The last race was cancelled in 2013 due to safety concerns. Photo: Mariam Koslay.

The 115-year-old classic cycle from Goulburn to Camden is on route to return this September.

A report by the Goulburn Mulwaree Council described the concept of resurrecting the 212km ride as “very good” and should be “supported” but adds many discussions and agreements will still need to be determined. 

This will include negotiations between the Roads and Maritimes Services (RMS) for the use and safety codes of major highways between Goulburn and Camden and an increased police presence. 

If approved, the race would start in Belmore Park, travel along Sloane Street towards Bungonia up to Marulan and travel north east passing Bundanoon, Moss Vale, Bowral, Tahmoor and Camden. 

In 2015 a meeting in Goulburn between a NSW State Police Operations Planning Unit, the RMS and the five councils involved drafted possible routes. 

Over the next month, a similar meeting will be organised with amended solutions from the first meeting. After this a traffic management plan will be drafted. 

Race organiser of 30 years Phill Bates says it should not be hard to receive support. 

“We need to ensure it is a safe event, the roads are totally sterile and it is staged with the least inconvenience,” Bates said. “It’s so much a part of our history for it not to be staged.”

President of the Goulburn Cycle Club Adam Lambert welcomes the discussions surrounding the Goulburn to Camden Cycle classic. 

Having participated in the Goulburn to Sydney race several times in the past, as an officiator or volunteer, he says a happy medium for the proposed race in September can be reached between key stakeholders.

“Any opportunity to have this on the calendar would be welcomed by the cycling community. It’s disappointing we haven’t had it in a few years and we will definitely throw our support towards it – absolutely,” Lambert said.

Phill Bates, who has been involved in the iconic race since the 1970s, joined Lambert in his disappointment.

“A good legacy would be getting it back up.”

Bates says quite a few organisations need to come together and work through issues which was, or might be raised to ensure it is safe for cyclists and the general public.

The Goulburn to Camden event is the second longest running single day race in the country after the Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic. 

“These days it gets harder and harder to run longer course races like this purely because of the requirements from police and the RMS, but its been shown to work around the world,” Lambert said.

It is estimated around $20,000 worth of NSW police services will be used over the day. Bates letter to the council highlighted the need to avoid an extensive impact of police services. 

The last race of this nature between Goulburn and Sydney was cancelled in 2013 by Cycling Australia due to safety concerns. 

“In the past it has been well managed and well coordinated. It’s a big effort to run it but it showcases cycling in a public forum that’s manageable for all parties,” Lambert says.  

But for Lambert the race is as much about the spectators than the cyclists. 

“To see NRS (National Road Series) level riders is phenomenal. To get faster and push harder each year. It’s inspiring and a very good motivator.”