Wollongong is to hold the 2022 UCI Road World Championships ©Getty Images

The chief executive of the 2022 International Cycling Union (UCI) Road World Championships, Stu Taggart, has said Wollongong's hosting of the event will be a boost for Australian cycling following issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scheduled for September 18 to 25 2022, the Australian city is the next location for the Championships following the 2021 edition in Flanders in Belgium.

Taggart noticed the contrast between the historic Flanders and the new location in New South Wales, but believes that the return of crowds will be a boost to the sport in the country.

"Our job is to work with the local community as well as the rest of Australia to get them excited that we're hosting one of the world's biggest cycling events in our own backyard for the second time ever," said Taggart to Cycling News.

"It's different, absolutely. 

"But we also have a great major events tradition and we're confident that the Australian public will come out and support it and with the reality of our experiences over the last 18 months around COVID-19, people, I think, are craving that opportunity to get behind major events and enjoy them.

"We've often talked about it being the right event at the right place, at the right time in the context of the runway we have.

"We always felt like we were positioned well around Australia's COVID response plan and the timeline that was attached to it when it was released.

"There's still a way to go yet, but we're really confident and hopeful that as vaccination rates continue to rise, we will be in a really good position to host an amazing event and also welcome significant numbers of international visitors, as well as domestic visitors travelling across borders."

Australia have had strict COVID-19 restrictions in place during the pandemic ©Getty Images
Australia have had strict COVID-19 restrictions in place during the pandemic ©Getty Images

Australia has had several lockdowns since the pandemic, with the city of Melbourne spending a total of 260 days under these restrictions since March 2020.

There have also been strict border restrictions between states too as well as to other nations.

To date in Australia there have been more than 187,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in the deaths of 1,873 people.

Australia has held the Championships once before, when Geelong played host in 2010.

Following Wollongong's hosting next year, Glasgow is to hold the 2023 competition.

Swiss city Zürich and Rwanda's capital Kigali are set to welcome cyclists in 2024 and 2025 respectively.