Blayney rides out of the B2B

Ride on: Scott Ferguson waving the flag for Blayney at the 2018 B2B starting line.
Ride on: Scott Ferguson waving the flag for Blayney at the 2018 B2B starting line.

A request from Bathurst Council for an extra $50,000 to run the B2B has been rejected by Blayney Shire Council, meaning that for the first time in its history the race won't be commencing in Blayney.

Bathurst international cycling champion Mark Renshaw has designed the new 100km and 50km courses in the greatest change for the B2B in the past 15 years.

Both courses start and finish in Bathurst.

The event has always been a somewhat divisive one in Blayney with complaints rolling in every year about road blockages and concerns as to whether or not the event actually delivers any real benefit to the town.

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Blayney mayor Scott Ferguson said that after Bathurst Regional Council had completed a full review of this year's race, running the event out of Blayney was costing between $50,000 - $70,000 extra, money that he said council had difficulty in justifying.

"Talking to people in the community they don't feel that there was a huge economic benefit and the groups that we've spoken to are quite happy to see that it has evolved and moved on," he said.

Blayney council's annual contribution to the B2B was $15,000 and Cr Ferguson is cautious about where that money should be allocated.

'It's too early yet to be deciding on where and what this money should be spent on," he said.

Cr David Kingham said that he was disappointed that Blayney was no longer a part of the challenge, but had better things to spend precious funds on.

"The B2B is a great thing but now we'll spend our contribution on developing our own events," he said.

Cr Bruce Reynolds wished Bathurst well with the B2B and is looking as to where council could now reallocate the $15,000.

"We need to support and enhance our other tourism activities throughout the shire," he said.

"We're looking at other opportunities with Orange 360 as to whether we can get other cycling events using for example the re-opened bridge between Millthorpe and Carcoar to run a race around Errowanbang Road."

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