World class cycling action comes to the Illawarra in November with L'Étape Australia by Tour de France being held in and around Kiama, the Shoalhaven and the Southern Highlands on November 28.
Lateral Events made the announcement on Friday saying that after two months of extensive consultation with councils and community members the region had been chosen for the major cycling event.
The news follows the disappointment of having to postpone the 2020 event due to COVID-19 and then having to cancel the postponed event due to torrential rain in March.
L'Étape Australia replicates a mountainous stage of the Tour de France in Australia, which is why the roads around Kiama, Berry, Kangaroo Valley and Jamberoo were chosen for this year's event.
Now a new date has been decided more than 4,000 riders, plus their friends and family, are expected to visit the Illawarra and Shoalhaven for several days.
The event village, held at Coronation Park in Kiama, will open Saturday November 27 to provided visitors with the chance to enjoy local food and beverages while soaking up the Tour de France atmosphere.
Race director Florent Malézieux said riders and their friends and family will be encouraged to explore the region and visit local shops and restaurants.
"We encourage our riders to spend as much time in the region as possible, not only on the weekend of the event, but throughout the year."
NSW Tourism minister Stuart Ayres said cycling enthusiasts would be blown away by the natural surrounds and warm hospitality of the area.
"Fans have been waiting for the debut L'Étape Australia event in the South Coast and Southern Highlands regions, and when they get there in November we're sure they'll have an unforgettable experience enjoying the sights and delights of regional NSW," Mr Ayres said.
"L'Étape Australia is a fantastic event that encourages participants and their supporters to immerse themselves in the region for several days, which creates benefits through visitor expenditure and builds awareness and advocacy for future visitation."
Local accommodation statistics were assessed before November was identified as the quietest month of the year outside winter.
Lateral Events was aware that L'Étape Australia requires good weather and lengthy daylight to operate safely.
A spokesperson said local businesses are encouraged to contact the organisers at email@example.com to discuss ways in which the increased visitation can have a positive impact on their operations and how the event can increase exposure for their business through on ground activities.
"We are very happy to be moving forward with our planning of the 5th edition of L'Étape Australia," Mr Malézieux said.
"The event promises to be a boost to the local economy and visitation numbers and after two false starts, we are looking forward to showcasing the region and everything it has to offer to thousands of riders and their families."
The proposed date for future editions of L'Étape Australia is Sunday, November 27, 2022 and Lateral Events will now continue the process of seeking approvals from relevant authorities for that date.
L'Étape Australia is supported by the NSW Government through Destination NSW.
The event will be run under full Tour de France professional conditions including closed roads and mechanical and medical support.
It is the largest Tour de France event outside of France and provides the closest experience an amateur cyclist can get to riding in the Tour de France.
Local communities are encouraged to get involved by decorating their towns.
Road closures will be in place for the duration of the race on November 28.
Lateral Events said it will work with local communities to ensure that they are as least disruptive as possible.
Community enquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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