UCI Cyclefest International has brought elite international riders and home-grown talent together to highlight Bundaberg's passion for cycling.
The UCI sanctioned event saw hardened pro riders take on some of the sports up-and-coming stars at the Kevin Brogden Velodrome and on the streets of Bundaberg.
The 70th edition of the event began on Wednesday evening, with cyclists taking to Targo Street in the Bundaberg CBD for the breathtaking UCI Cyclefest Criterium.
The final race at the Kevin Brogden Velodrome was held on Saturday night, before the focus shifts to the all-round endurance “world of pain” of triathlon this morning at Bargara to cap off the UCI Cyclefest International.
Holding on to the edge of their seats while they enjoyed watching riders reach speeds of 70km/h at the Criterium on Wednesday evening were Brian and Marie Ewan.
Brian and Marie are the grandparents of one of Australia’s best sprinters, Caleb Ewan, who rode for the Lotto-Soudal team in the Tour de France last year.
Caleb won the final stage of the race on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
Marie said she’d been watching cycling for as long as she could remember and now her grandson was involved it was hard to stop.
“Caleb’s dad was also an Australian champion and he was born here in Bundaberg,” she said.
Brian, along with his mate Noel Gear, recalled the days of not only watching the sport, but being involved in building the Kevin Brogden Velodrome, that was then known as Drinan Park.
Having the CycleFest in Bundaberg served to keep Brian and Marie’s passion for the sport well and truly alive.
Cycling in Davis family blood
Racing at the Kevin Brogden Velodrome is nothing new to one of Bundaberg’s most famous cycling families.
At such an elite event it wouldn’t be right not to hear the Davis name announced over the PA and, once again, the Davis family didn't disappoint.
Brothers Mitch and Brad Davis took to the velodrome for the Masters final, with Mitch pipping Brad across the line to fill the minor placings by a fraction of a second.
As a seasoned cyclist, Brad said riding had been in his family’s blood for decades and he was now able to enjoy watching his children, Hunter and Paige, ride at the same event.
Growing up, Brad said he was surrounded by racing and it was fantastic to see a cycling event that attracted international competitors in the Bundaberg Region.
“It’s great to see an event like this promoting cycling, as here in Bundaberg we have a good field of junior cyclist coming through,” he said.
“The Bundaberg Cycling Club has put in some programs for junior coaching by some of the elite riders and that’s also good to see.”
Brad said during his cycling career he enjoyed every aspect of cycling, from mountain biking locally at Cordalba, through to cycling along the Bargara coast.
CFI chair Greg Pershouse said before the UCI Cyclefest International started the committee had a “long, hard think about the weather”.
They were relieved they made the right decision to follow through with the international event.
“It’s a wrap after the madison and what can I say – it’s been a great event,” Greg said.
“We had hiccups and things that may have worried the living daylights out of us, but at the end of the day it’s been a spectacular carnival.”