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It comes just days after the government pulled the plug on the Adelaide 500, with other major events also likely to be affected.
Despite best efforts, it is with regret the organisers have had to pull the pin on the 2021 Tour. Cycling will however still be ever present in the streets of Adelaide and regional South Australia, with a smaller domestic cycling festival to take its place in January 2021.
The Santos Tour Down Under is an important event for South Australia, and accordingly it was necessary to consider fully, the possibility of delivering a safe, responsible and successful event for South Australia, event partners, the UCI and the teams in 2021.
“The Santos Tour Down Under is a much-loved event on the world cycling and Australian sporting calendars and we know how important this event is to the people of South Australia. It is for that reason we have done all we can to consider how we can deliver it, but unfortunately in the end it was the international component, with over 400 people that make up the international teams, that proved to be the most difficult to overcome” says Executive Director, Events South Australia Hitaf Rasheed.
“We have worked with our stakeholders, SA Health and SA Police to create a successful strategy to bring the international event to South Australia. However, the complexities and risks involved with quarantining and international border closures have ultimately proved too much to ask of some of the teams, who have endured a stressful, challenging and compressed 2020 season that will run later than normal, ” said Ms. Rasheed.
“Accordingly, the Santos Tour Down Under with international races will not run in 2021 but we assure everyone it will return to South Australia and the start of the UCI’s world cycling calendars in January 2022, with the full support of the UCI.”
Race Director of the Santos Tour Down Under, Stuart O’Grady said, as his first year as Race Director he was always up for a challenge, but that this year had been one hell of a challenge!
“Of course I am disappointed, but given the challenges, our priority needs to be the health and safety of South Australians, our communities, and the international cycling fraternity. I believe that for one year we can put delivering an international event aside, and keep our South Australian heart beating by delivering a new, re-imagined event for cyclists and for communities across the nation”.
There has been an enormous amount of work and scenario planning undertaken by the Santos Tour Down Under team to deliver an event in January 2021, which will ensure cycling will still have a strong presence in South Australia in January.
“We are so devastated that we cannot deliver the Santos Tour Down Under in January, but equally the team has been working on a scenario two – a domestic cycling festival.
“We are excited about the opportunity to deliver a domestic cycling festival. An incredible amount of work has already been undertaken with key stakeholders and we will now go about finalising what that will look like and will look forward to sharing that with everyone later this month,” said Ms Rasheed.
Kimberly Conte, Race Director, Women’s Santos Tour Down Under said she is disappointed that the race will not be staged in January, however we have a unique opportunity to provide an event here in Adelaide that will feature some of South Australia’s most beautiful regions.
“The Santos Tour Down Under has historically acted as a springboard for some of our most promising young athletes and this new event will offer a unique opportunity to showcase our young talented riders.”
Details of the new event will be released in due course, with a program that will be designed to bring visitors from intrastate and interstate to the City of Adelaide and regional communities during a period in January.
The Santos Tour Down Under would like to sincerely thank SA Health, SAPOL, participating teams, host councils, major partners and in particular naming rights partner Santos, for their unwavering support of the event and the event team.
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