Cyclists come to showgrounds

THE Stanthorpe Showgrounds will be filled with cleats, cranks and chains next Tuesday as around 800 cyclists descend on the Southern Downs.

Along with 100 support staff, the fundraising Cycle Queensland riders will also give the local economy a nice shot in the arm.

Cycle Queensland's evaluation of its rides over the last three years shows an average $600,000 being injected into the host regions.

Nearly three quarters of last year's Cycle Queensland ride participants said they were influenced to return to the region later for a tourism visit.

The free-wheeling group will spend their rest day in Stanthorpe, and many have booked local day tours organised by Southern Downs Regional Council's economic development unit and Granite Belt Wine & Tourism.

There is a Northern Granite Belt tour of wineries, the cheese factory and apple orchard; a Southern tour of wineries, berries, jams and olive producers; a Nature tour to Girraween finished off with visits to wineries; a Heritage tour including the Southern Downs Steam Railway, sandstone buildings in Warwick and Glengallan Homestead; and a Western tour of wineries and berry producers.

For those riders not booking a day tour, and instead wanting to investigate the Capital of Cool, a market day with discounts and special bargain tables will run in Stanthorpe.

At the Showgrounds there'll be entertainment by James Blundell, along with Barbie doll grape crushing competitions and waiter races.

Local motorists are asked to be patient and courteous as the group cycles from Texas to Stanthorpe on Monday 12 September; then on to Killarney via Old

Stanthorpe Road on Wednesday 14 September; leaving Killarney for Woodenbong on Thursday 15 September 2011.

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