CENTRAL Victorians are racing to lock in 2026 Commonwealth Games mountain bike events as the battle for sports intensifies across the regions.
A coalition of councils, residents and athletes are launching their bid to bring mountain biking to Harcourt's La Larr Ba Gauwa Mountain Bike Park.
The push will hinge on mountain biking being included in the 2026 Games.
Central Victoria is the latest region to pitch for a host of events Games organisers see as optional extras.
Ballarat launched its push for rowing events a month ago and some communities, like Warrnambool, are discussing their own ideas after the frustration of missing out on host city status.
The state government launched expressions of interest for extra sports last week.
Bendigo was named one of four host cities for the games in April 2026.
It will host cycling, T20 cricket, squash and weightlifting, with lawn bowls to be held at Barnard Street's Bendigo Bowls Club and netball at the Bendigo Stadium.
Harcourt would be a logical spot for mountain biking because it is so close to a host city, advocates are expected to argue.
The town is also close to a host of accommodation and cultural venues at Castlemaine, Kyneton and Woodend - all of which are located along the train line between Melbourne and Bendigo.
Advocates will argue that will help showcase Victoria to the spectators who would come.
Central Victoria also has a strong cycling fraternity.
It is producing athletes like Alessia McCaig, who will compete in this year's Birmingham Commonwealth Games, and two Bendigo exports have competed in this year's Tour De France - Jack Haig and Chris Hamilton.
The City of Greater Bendigo has thrown its support behind the Harcourt bid, as has the Mount Alexander Shire, which surrounds La Larr Ba Gauwa Park.
Traditional Owners the Dja Dja Wurrung have also backed the push, which would take place at a site overlooked by the culturally significant site Leanganook (also known as Mount Alexander).
Any decision would be made by the Union Cycliste Internationale, the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Victorian Government.
The push will come during a flurry of major decisions for the Games, which is less than four years away.
The government and councils must make sweeping decisions about the future of some venues, including whether to scrap long held plans for Barnard Street, which will need to accommodate lawn bowls events.
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