Bill SykesA CYCLING event likely to attract more than 5000 people will be held in the North East for 16 days from October 18.
The Cycle Salute is expected to attract 3400 cyclists in three categories of cultural, family focus and mountain bike-road riding.
It aims to promote cycle tourism experiences in the region.
Member for Benalla Bill Sykes said family and supporters would push total numbers past 5000.
Dr Sykes had sought financial backing for the event and Tourism Minister Louise Asher allocated $60,000.
There will be $30,000 from the Tourism Victoria events program and $30,000 from the $100 million Putting Locals First program.
“Our area will be showcased to the rest of Australia with Cycle Salute,” Dr Sykes said yesterday.
“With the stunning high country, charming historic towns and world class wineries and gourmet food producers, the North East is the perfect place for cycling,” he said.
“The Cycle Salute offers everything from leisurely winery and restaurant tours and meandering family friendly journeys to adrenalin-charged mountain bike rides for the more adventurous cyclists.”
Dr Sykes said Tourism North East is promoting the extensive program in the region.
It hopes to establish it as an on-going annual tourism drawcard for the region and make it the state’s premier cycling destination.
The innovative event from October 16 to November 5 will include more than 50 cycling events.
Myrtleford, Milawa, Beechworth, Bright, Benalla, Mansfield, Wangaratta and the King Valley will be involved along with many smaller rural communities.
Cycle Salute will coincide with the National Cycling Tourism Conference being held at Milawa on October 17 and 18.
Ms Asher said the Napthine government was committed to supporting programs and events such as the Cycle Salute.
Such innovations encouraged local, interstate and international tourists to travel and stay in regional Victoria.
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