The Dirty Warrny is hoping to double its numbers in 2023 after a successful first outing on Saturday.
Up to 330 riders competed in either the 140km or 246km race from Forrest and Geelong respectively, including 12 locals, with Melbourne to Warrnambool cycling committee executive officer Shane Wilson revealing the hope was for entries to reach 750 in 2023.
Wilson said feedback from both Dirty Warrny riders and the public had been fantastic.
"To finish at Lake Petrobe and have a lot of Warrnambool people involved was terrific," Wilson said. "The place had a good vibe about it and we had good feedback about the music and food vendors."
Wilson said Saturday's event was the first step in making the Dirty Warrny the premier gravel cycling event in Australia. He said next year's Dirty Warrny would again be held in November and expects a similar route to this year's course.
"I can't say definitively but I expect it to be the same," he said.
He said they would also look at how to fine tune the running of the event.
With gravel cycling exploding in popularity in recent years, Wilson said there was an opportunity to capitalise on its tourism potential.
"It's enormous internationally... that's where Australia will go," he said. "The tourism possibilities of this are enormous. It's (the south-west) just a postcard and too good of an opportunity for the district not to take advantage of. We expect 95 percent stayed in Warrnambool over the weekend.
"Cycling tourism is enormous in other parts of the world and Australia. Derby in Tasmania, they're whole economy is around bike riding. Bright in Victoria absolutely takes advantage of this.
"We've got the Melbourne to Warrnambool and Dirty Warrny on some of the most scenic areas of Victoria... the opportunity is there to be taken advantage of."
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