Australia's Tour Down Under: International Cycling Tour
Another good reason why Australia's Slow Tours is based in Adelaide, South Australia!
A little history of Australia's International Cyclig Race
First held in 1999, the Santos Tour Down Under is the biggest cycling race in the southern hemisphere.
This 11-day event brings UCI World Tour professional cycling (male) teams to race on the streets of Adelaide and regional South Australia each January. Up for grabs are important UCI points and the Santos Ochre Leader’s Jersey. The event also plays host to a UCI Women's 2.1-grade event (one level below Women's World Tour status), which also attracts the cream of female cycling to Adelaide.
In 2008 the Santos Tour Down Under became the first race outside of Europe to receive prestigious UCI WorldTour status to guarantee the world's best elite teams would make their way to Adelaide.
Some of the very best in road cycling have competed at the Santos Tour Down Under during its history. Tour de France winners Oscar Pereiro, Andy Schleck, Alberto Contador and Carlos Sastre have all raced in Adelaide, alongside Aussie legends Simon Gerrans, Stuart O’Grady, Robbie McEwen, Cadel Evans and Allan Davis.
Not just a bike race, the Santos Tour Down Under is home to the largest Festival of Cycling in the southern hemisphere, with a range of associated events, mass-participation rides for kids and adults through the Subaru Breakaway Series, street parties and live music combining to create a massive party atmosphere across South Australia.
The Santos Tour Down Under invites the whole state to the party by taking the race through South Australian regions. The race typically starts and concludes with exciting Adelaide city street circuits, with stages 1-5 being held in regional South Australia. The Santos Tour Down Under provides a significant contribution to the state's tourism industry and showcases the attractions of South Australia to the world through global television coverage.
The Santos Tour Down Under is owned and managed by Events South Australia, a division of the South Australian Tourism Commission, on behalf of the South Australian Government.
2019 Tour Down Under
It's Australia's Greatest Cycling Race and it's harder than ever. While the Santos Tour Down Under retains a familiar course each year, 2019 sees big changes, exciting new additions and the return of old favourites.
Visiting three South Australian pillar regions, the Tour commenced this week with visits to the Adelaide foothills and Port Adelaide, followed by the Barossa, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula. Starts took place on Adelaide's main high streets, with large crowds of onlookers.
Traditionally attracting some of the world's top sprinters and exciting Aussies, this year's event will pitch national champions Peter Sagan (Slovakia) and Elia Viviani (Italy) against Australian excitement machine Caleb Ewan.
Meanwhile Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) will go for another Willunga Hill victory, while Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) attempts to defend his general classification crown.
All this in Adelaide's hottest summer for many years with several days with over 40 degree heat! A race for champions indeed!
Come and join the throngs in 2020!
Whether you are a competitive cyclist or an enthusiast of cycling tours as a way of experiencing the culture and discovering the countryside, the local food and wine or just getting to know the locals, you will enjoy the atmosphere of this wonderful Cycling Festival in Adelaide and its surrounds. Let us know if you are coming so we can put out the welcome mat!
And for cycling enthusiasts: