Ironman course realignment better for weekend business
The Cairns Ironman Asia Pacific Championship race has been realigned for 2019 and will no longer see competitors biking up and down Macrossan Street.
Instead, part of the cycling route for the tour will include Old Port Road and the section of Port Douglas Road between Agincourt Street and Barrier Street.
Last year, competitors cycled all the way along Port Douglas Road and performed a U-turn on Macrossan Street before heading back to Cairns.
As a result, Macrossan Street and Port Douglas Road were both closed to traffic for the entire day last year.
Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree Executive Officer, Tara Bennett, said the course realignment is good for businesses in Port Douglas.
“I believe this year’s course change in Port Douglas will help alleviate some of the issues businesses along Macrossan Street have experienced in previous years with a reduction in trade from the closure,” she said.
“The Cairns Ironman will continue to be a fantastic event which brings a welcome influx of visitors to the region and a powerful way to highlight the sensational Great Barrier Reef Drive from Cairns to Port Douglas.”
According to Douglas Shire Council, a feedback survey of 77 local businesses showed a mixed response to the event coming to town.
“That was mainly due to the Captain Cook Highway road closure,” Mayor Julia Leu said.
“These changes have been well-received and Council would like to encourage residents to cheer on athletes as they do two laps on the bike into Port Douglas.
“Council recognises that Ironman is an important event on the FNQ sports tourism calendar and is proud to be a considerable partner since 2015.”
Port Douglas Road between Agincourt and Barrier Streets will be closed to traffic and will feature as a live Site with a big screen, an outside broadcast, a sports commentator, and music.
Cyclists will turn left onto Port Douglas Road from Old Port Road; make a U-turn at Ulysses Street and another U-turn prior to Barrier Street before returning to the Captain Cook Highway via Old Port Road.
Old Port Road and the aforementioned section of Port Douglas Road will be closed to traffic from 6.00am to 5.00pm on Sunday 9 June.
The Captain Cook highway will be closed between Douglas and Cairns from 5.30am to 5.30pm with motorists diverted through Mount Molloy, Mareeba and Kuranda.
Douglas Shire Council has also approved in-kind support of up to $12,000 to support the event.
“The in-kind support will include pre-clean of parks, gardens and utilities cleaning prior to the event, social media marketing, waste disposal support (not including bin hire), and advice to facilitate a successful event,” said Cr Leu.
Council was not involved in the realignment decision. World Triathlon Corporation has been approached for comment.
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