DUBBO mayor Mathew Dickerson believes Orange could be a vital component in his ambitious bid to form Australia’s most lucrative mountain bike series.
Run under the Evocities banner, the new series would include races in all seven Evocities cities, including one in Orange as well as Dubbo, Bathurst, Wagga, Albury, Tamworth and Armidale.
“We were trying to come up with an idea that would be inexpensive and modern and a good way to keep the Evocities name out there,” Cr Dickerson said.
According to Cr Dickerson the richest mountain bike series in the country boasts prizemoney of more than $34,000, a figure he was confident they could topple with support and sponsorship.
“That series has races in NSW, Victoria and South Australia and is called the Real Insurance XCM Series. Our aim would be to target a major sponsor to increase prizemoney and then boast the richest series in the country.”
Orange City councillor Jason Hamling believes the concept has promise and has vowed to explore all options.
“The mayor of Dubbo’s suggestion of a new Evocities mountain bike series is a great idea,” he said.
“It’s early days and the details of the races are still to be fleshed out, but Orange City Council would be pleased to sit down with the local bike clubs to explore how this can come together.
“It’s an idea that’s certainly worth exploring. There would be lots of opportunities for sponsorship and tourism.”
Cr Hamling believes the benefits from a series such as this would be endless and fruitful for all seven cities involved.
“A number of the Evocities are already running established events on the competitive mountain biking calendar that could benefit from being incorporated into a bigger series of races,” he said.
“Currently people are picking and choosing about which event they might enter, but if there was a mapped-out series with, say, a cumulative points tally then there are incentives to sign up for the whole series.
“Across the seven Evocities there is a broad range of terrain which would attract the enthusiasts. From the steep pine forests of Orange and Armidale to the scrub and plains of Dubbo, there’d be something for everyone.”