It is with deep regret that Lateral Events announces the cancellation of L’Étape Australia, scheduled for 27 and 28 November 2021 in Kiama, the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands.
Lateral Events advises L’Étape Australia is not able to proceed following a decision by Shoalhaven City Council to ‘discourage’ the event from being held on public roads in the Shoalhaven, one of three Local Government Areas spanning the Race route. L’Étape Australia is run on closed roads, under full Tour de France professional race conditions and requires support from authorities including local Councils to safely deliver the event and Traffic Management Plan.
Lateral Events has engaged and collaborated with many businesses and residents in the area to welcome the event and, to celebrate cycling in the region. However, Shoalhaven City Council’s withdrawal of support has left Lateral Events no other option but to cancel the event.
Race Director Florent Malézieux said the decision by Shoalhaven City Council was a surprise given their earlier written letter of support, and did not align with feedback Lateral Events had received from much of the community and Council officials and Councillors, during the consultation process. “We were led to believe that the councillors and local businesses supported the race and had embraced the benefits of staging the event, which included having up to 6,000 riders, their families and supporters stay in the region, delivering millions of dollars of direct tourism expenditure, and a year-long national TV campaign promoting the event and the region.”
L’Étape Australia Community Liaison Manager, Megan Peters, has been working tirelessly with the communities in Kiama, Shoalhaven and the Southern Highlands, to identify significant adjustments to the event route, communicate the revised road management plans and respond to any community concerns regarding any potential impacts of the event. This resulted in road closures in the Kangaroo Valley, for example, being reduced to 06:30am – 10:45am on Sunday 28th November.
The company will now review the location of L’Étape Australia for 2022 and beyond. “We respect the right of the Shoalhaven City Council councillors to make this decision. We will now consider our options and continue to create great experiences for riders in beautiful terrains,” Mr Malézieux said.
Lateral Events thanks the NSW Government including Destination NSW, the Department of Premier and Cabinet and other agencies who worked with the organisation in support of L’Étape Australia. Lateral Events would also like to thank Kiama Council and Wingecarribee Shire Council, its councillors, along with businesses, residents and community groups for their ongoing support and would like to see Kiama and the Southern Highlands continue to be supported by major events in the future.
All registrants will be contacted within 7 days with further information about refunds.
Lateral Events remains committed to delivering cycling events, particularly those that bring economic benefit to regional NSW, and last week launched a new multi-day cycle event called Drops + Hoods in the NSW Snowy Mountains, an event described as the next generation of cycle events.