Just two weeks after announcing it has signed Subaru Australia as the event’s new vehicle sponsor, the Santos Tour Down Under (TDU) was happy to receive news from a hearing in Aigle, Switzerland that the International Cycling Union (UCI) has agreed to extend the TDU a new UCI WorldTour licence for the next two years.
“This is great news for the Santos Tour Down Under, as the biggest cycling race in Australasia and the only UCI WorldTour event staged in the Southern Hemisphere,” said South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill of the Adelaide-based event that has generated a record $45.9 million for the State economy this year – $2.3 million more than 2013.
“In line with The Reform of Professional Cycling and the direction from UCI, the South Australian Tourism Commission through Events South Australia applied for a licence through to 2016, so we are clearly delighted with this outcome.”
More than 36,000 interstate and overseas visitors travelled specifically to South Australia for the TDU in January, which also received a global audience through 324 hours of television time screened internationally.
“Whilst the details of the licence application process beyond the 2016 event are still to be confirmed, we will be working closely with the UCI to ensure the Santos Tour Down Under remains the first race on the WorldTour calendar,” said Weatherill.
“I will be travelling to the Tour de France later this month for meetings with the UCI and wider cycling industry showing our long term commitment to the event.”
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell claims the TDU continues to be a resounding success for South Australia.
“As the first event of the UCI World Tour calendar, the Santos Tour Down Under delivers a week of exciting cycling action for the huge crowds that line the streets of Adelaide and our regional towns to cheer on their favourite cyclists,” he said.
“The 2014 Santos Tour Down Under showcased the very best of our State, with the interstate and overseas visitors and those watching on television around the world getting a taste of the Adelaide Hills, the Barossa and McLaren Vale wine regions, and the vibrancy of Adelaide.”
The 2015 Santos Tour Down Under will be held from January 17 to 25, with the race announcing last week that the annual mass-participation Bupa Challenge Tour will once again follow stage four of the race on Friday, January 23. More than 6,500 riders are expected, including more than 2,000 interstate and international travellers, to take part in the 144.5km ride from Glenelg to Mount Barker to help raise money for the Cancer Council SA for the seventh consecutive year.
The race routes and stage details for next year’s event will be announced on Monday July 14. For further event information, visit the official Tour Down Under website.