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The 2007 Tour Down Under is set to be the biggest yet, with a fun tour for families and track racing added to next January's schedule of what is already Australia's biggest race. At Wednesday's launch of the race in Adelaide, Australia's tourism minister Jane Lomax-Smith announced a new 20km Fun Tour for families and a Night of Stars event at the Adelaide Super-Drome.
"The Fun Tour allows casual and beginner riders to ride part of the Tour Down Under, while the Night of Stars at the Adelaide Super-Drome introduces track cycling to the program for the first time," Lomax-Smith said. "These new events, coupled with the Challenge Tour (formerly the be active Tour) and the Powerade Mini Tour for Kids, mean there is now an opportunity for cyclists of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels to participate in a world-class cycling event. The new Tour Down Under Night of Stars also means that the public will be able to watch the team presentations for the first time."
Lomax-Smith then gave some details of the route for the six-day race which takes place on January 16-21. "The 2007 Tour Down Under will see the riders set off from Mannum for the first time, along the banks of the Murray River for a stage start, and return to the popular finish locations of Victor Harbor and Tanunda after a one-year absence. This route will provide some great viewing spots for the 435,000 spectators who line the streets each year to cheer on the cyclists, as well as showcasing some of South Australia's spectacular regions to the international television audience.
"The profile of the Tour Down Under increases each year, and added events in the 2007 program will cement South Australia's reputation as the southern hemisphere's cycling capital. It is also an important economic driver, especially for regional South Australia. This year's Tour Down Under, for instance, contributed at least $16.25 million to the State's economy."
Lomax-Smith concluded by revealing, "Cycling already rates as the fourth most popular pastime in Australia, more popular than golf and fishing and, over the last three years, more bikes were sold than new cars in Australia."
January 16, stage 1: Adelaide Circuit , 50km
January 17, stage 2: Mawson Lakes-Tanunda, 152km
January 18, stage 3: Mannum-Hahndorf, 150km
January 19, stage 4: Stirling-Victor Harbour, 128km
January 20, stage 5: Willunga-Willunga, 147km
January 21, stage 6: Adelaide Circuit, 90km
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM