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YEARS of blood, sweat and tears to get Wagga’s multi-sport cycling complex up and running will come to an end when the facility hosts its first race on Tuesday night. The Tolland Cycling Club will host a 30-lap criterium at the Pomingalarna facilities, a precursor before it returns to center stage on the opening day of the Tolland Open this weekend. The $9.2 million project was completed last month, and Wagga Council has already declared its desire to attract state and national level events to the facility. But it will be the locals who get to use their shiny new toy first, and Tolland Cycling Club chairman Will Silver said it was a historic week for sport in the town. “We’re very excited to go tomorrow and get the guys and girls involved,” he said. “It’s a prelude to the weekend to see how the track is going to go and how we’re going to set up the event for Saturday. “I would say it’s probably been planned for over five years. The installation was completed just in time to unveil a new Tolland Open format. Usually two road races are held, one on Saturday and another on Sunday, but a criterium will be held on Saturday instead. OTHER NEWS “We are thrilled to be hosting criteriums again at Wagga,” said Silver. It was always good to have a crit and then a road race the next day, it’s a format that a lot of riders really enjoy. “There’s been quite a bit of talk about the critical track and also the Tolland weekend as it kicks off the racing season. It’s one of the most popular events on the calendar, we’re proud to display Wagga and organize a good event for those who travel.” The 90km handicap road race at Ladysmith on Sunday has been renamed Barry O’Hagan Handicap, to honor the local cycling legend who founded the Tolland club. He is a life member of Tolland and Wagga Cycling, and was president of both for a long time. “We named him after him for his contribution to cycling in Wagga and across the state. It’s really well deserved,” Silver said. “Most people are used to coming to town for a full weekend of racing, which has been good for us and helped us get the numbers we need to run a good event. 260 runners over the weekend” is the objective.” Silver expects the facility to increase participation in the sport, especially in growth areas like BMX. The 1.7 km criterium track is complemented by a velodrome, BMX tracks, pump tracks, jump tracks and mountain bike facilities. “The BMX facility there is amazing. It will be interesting to see where that goes, if the club can form a club and start building a membership base around BMX,” he said in road racing. Our reporters work hard to bring local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content: