The largest cycling event ever to be staged in Australia is being held in Perth until Monday, October 4.
The 1993 Junior World Cycling Championships, to be officially opened this evening by Tourism Minister Colin Barnett, has attracted about 530 competitors and 200 officials from more than 40 countries.
Mr Barnett said the Junior World Cycling Championships had a higher participation rate than the respective cycling events at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne and the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.
"The overwhelming international response to Perth hosting Australia's first World Cycling Championships will stand Western Australia in good stead in its bid to host the World Open Cycling Championship in 1997," he said.
"This event adds to the long list of hallmark events which Western Australia has attracted, including the Sixth World Swimming Championships, Pepsi Hopman Cup, Telecom Rally Australia, Surfmasters at Margaret River, Golden Oldies Rugby Festival and the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race."
Eventscorp - the special events division of the WA Tourism Commission - has played a pivotal role in forging a bond between sport and tourism.
"Such high profile events not only generate money for the State but advertise to the world Western Australia as a tourist destination," Mr Barnett said.
Competitors have travelled across the nation as well as from such countries as Italy, Germany, Japan, Hungary, Brazil and South Africa to compete.
Three event venues are a part of the championships and include tonight's track racing at Midvale Speed Dome (September 28 to October 2) and Road Racing Championships at Roleystone on Monday, October 4.
Ten categories of competition include the men's and women's individual road races, a one kilometre time-trial, men's and women's sprints, men's and women's individual pursuits, team pursuits and men's and women's points races.
Media contacts: Carolyn Vicars 222 9686
Junior World Cycling Championships media manager - Paul McDonnell 297 3066