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The route for the 2006 Tour Down Under has been unveiled by South Australia's tourism minister, Jane Lomax-Smith, today at the headquarters of title race sponsor Jacob's Creek at Rowland Flat. The six-stage event running from January 17-22 will once again start and finish in the South Australian capital of Adelaide, and pass through many of the state's famous wine-growing regions on the days in between.
"The 2006 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under will, for the first time, have stage starts from Mawson Lakes and Stirling and a finish in Yankalilla. The town of Strathalbyn will again host a start after a four-year absence," said Lomax-Smith.
"The success of this high profile cycling event with thousands of tourists has allowed South Australia to push cycling like never before. We expect an increase in visitors in 2006 because of additional activity at the Tour de France and partnerships with cycling tour operators," she said. The event and the state are currently being popularised at the Tour de France by a bicycle-riding kangaroo character named 'Oppy', which is part of the pre-race publicity caravan.
One of the most significant changes to the race is the introduction of an ochre jersey for the race leader rather than the traditional yellow. "Since its inception in 1999, the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under has followed the cycling traditional of the Tour de France's yellow jersey to signify overall race leader. The event has matured and now has a leader's jersey in a colour of our own that represents Australia," explained Lomax-Smith.
"The colour ochre is strongly associated with Australia and the Tour wanted to create something unique that will be identified on the world stage."
The 2006 TDU will run as follows:
Stage 1, January 17: East End Adelaide Street Race, 50km
Stage 2, January 18: Mawson Lakes-Angaston, 148km
Stage 3, January 19: Stirling-Hahndorf, 146km
Stage 4, January 20: Strathalbyn-Yankalilla, 154km
Stage 5, January 21: Willunga-Willunga, 147km
Stage 6, January 22: Adelaide City Council Circuit, 90km
For more details visit the official website at www.tourdownunder.com.au
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