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Troy Bayliss launches Motorcycle and Cycling Expo on the Gold Coast

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He may be heralded as one of the greatest motorcycle racers ever, but Australian rider Troy Bayliss admits his real passion has always been the bicycle.

The three-time World Superbike champion and Gold Coast resident was on hand at Surfers Paradise beach today to launch the upcoming Australian Motorcycle Expo and Australian Cycling Expo, and said he was excited at the prospect of the co-located events being held on his own doorstep.

Retiring from motorcycle racing at the end of 2008, Bayliss has been able to switch his focus to pedal power and satisfy his competitive urge racing local events.

Next year's February 17-19 event to be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre will see over 30,000 motorcycling and cycling enthusiasts come together, and Bayliss said he was sure new interest would be sparked across the two disciplines.

"The connection for me between the motorcycle and the bicycle is that they've both got two wheels, and anything with two wheels I love," said Bayliss.

"I've had a long career on the motorcycle but not many people understand that the bicycle is really my passion over the motorcycle.

"I do all the local racing up here and I've been using it for many years also to keep myself fit.

"It's a great sport and to see the two come together and I think a lot of people that come along that don't understand so much about bicycles will really get something out of it."

Bayliss, who lives with his wife and children on the Gold Coast, said he was looking forward to the event and felt it was the perfect location for it to be held with an active community of motorcycling and cycling fans.

"I'm looking forward to seeing all the new models released. I might be heading to Milan to EICMA to see some of the new bikes but the Gold Coast is where it will be at for every rider to kick off 2012."

The event is expected to build on its status as the city's largest consumer exhibition and will occupy over 12,000 sqm of space in the venue's exhibition buildings, foyers and parklands.

To add to the flair of the event, organisers are planning a beachside 'hot dog course' cycle race in Broadbeach, with significant prizemoney expected to attract entries from some of Australia's top riders ‰ÛÒ Bayliss included.

"There's a lot more excitement in bicycle racing than what people might think, they'll get to see this up close with the planned race through Broadbeach which will be fantastic," added Bayliss.

Event Manager Mark Petersen of Burleigh Heads-based company Exhibitions and Trade Fairs predicted the co-located events would attract thousands of new visitors from the local area and interstate.

"Adding the Australian Cycling Expo to the already established Australian Motorcycle Expo expands our reach into two disciplines which are distinctly different," said Petersen.

"There is a big crossover in interest and we're sure visitors will love the chance to check out what is shaping up to be a sensational festival of everything two-wheels.

"It's also great for the Gold Coast economy as thousands will be travelling, staying and sampling the local hospitality and other tourist attractions providing a multi-million dollar boost for the area."

The event aims to cater for every type of rider and every type of bike in addition to showcasing a complete range of products, accessories and services.

Visit www.motorcycleshow.com.au or www.cyclingexpo.com.au for more information.

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