Andre Grieipel (Lotto Belisol) winning his second stage in the 2013 Tour Down Under. This win marks his 13th stage win in all editions of Tour Down Under and setting a new record in TdU.
  • MattF

    It’s January or bust for the TDU. It’s obvious that the UCI has heard that message but less clear whether they will act in good faith. The UCI and the sport, in general, is happy to venture to the soulless, spectator less but dollar rich Gulf States. Would they be bloody minded enough to jeopardise Australia’s number one cycling event? Quite possibly.

    • Oldan Slo

      The Gulf States races aren’t World Tour events.

      • CapeHorn

        Correct, at this point in time.
        But that is what MattF is saying – the UCI can shorten the race season by dropping the TDU, and putting some WT races in the Gulf States a month or so later. The UCI may end up with a little more money, (but will the quality of races be as high?)

  • I’ve often felt the UCI favoured other races (calendar conflicts) to the detriment of TDU – ie Qatar etc, purely because of the ASO connection. Teams racing up & down sand blasted highways, watched by 3 camels and all the race “hangers on/excess team/race personnel” to bolster visual audiences, for TV deals. If you’re going to reschedule events, do it for the right reasons.


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  • ceedee

    Is there any evidence that backs up the theory that it’s mum, dad and the 2 kids filling hotel rooms during the TdU and not the typical cycling fan ie. the middle age man with a disposable income?

    • Stompin

      I think it takes every man, woman and child to make the number happen for the TDU ie. government funding.

    • Adrian

      There is the SA government does very detailed tourist surveys

  • Sean

    Victoria is the only state that could successfully run the TDU at any time of the year. It’s time the race upgraded it’s location to Victoria.

    • The race is owned by the South Australian government. Also, it has to be before or after the European season. European-based riders (including Aussies) simply won’t come back to race the TDU once the Euro season has begun. Here’s Mike Turtur explaining why TDU’s perfect at the start of the year:

      “We proposed in 1999 for our race [to be] at the start of the season, rather than at the end of the European season, which was the tradition for most Australian events that attracted European riders. The benefit of having it at the start of the season is that riders have had their break, they’ve prepared for the new season, they’re fresh and ready to go.”

      • Sean

        Thanks Matt, I was baiting Dave! I would hate to see it change time slot or location, it’s been my families annual holiday for over a decade.

        • Michele

          I was wondering when Dave would be in here :)

    • JCJordan

      What a stupid brain fart that comment is. Everything that makes the TDU what it is comes from its heritage in and around Adelaide. It would stop being the TDU if you took away Willunga Hill, the city circuit on the last day and the loops around the other various tourism locations. If the Victorian’s want a World Tour level race then they need to get off their high horse and make it happen around the ToB or other similar event.

      • Stupid brain fart

        Please avoid personal attacks and make sure you understand the context before opening your mount and looking like a fool.

    • Michele

      They should hold it during the 2 week of July. See how that goes ;)

      • Dave

        Wouldn’t make a difference. It doesn’t matter when you hold a bike race in Victoria, you’ve got an equal chance of it being ruined by shite weather.

    • Dave

      How about we sell it to you for a yearly fee of $55,000,000 and a BJ from the deputy premier? A considerable discount compared to giving Bernie Ecclestone $60,000,000 and a BJ from the premier, and a good way to buy an upgrade to a superior event instead of earning it.

      We could then use the cash to start up another bike race which would be the TDU in all but name :D

      • Sean

        Makes sense, you guys typically want to always want to sell out.

        • Dave

          Does the premier spit or swallow for Bernie?

    • Adrian

      I doubt it. The TDU and Adelaide has series of ingredients which Victoria can not offer. The weather – I have been going to Adelaide for 10 years (for a week) and I have never experienced rain. Each day starts and finishes from the CBD. Riders and teams stay in one hotel – like a training camp – and is easier and cheaper to participate it. Many of the stage start and finishes are tourist icons and the locals put on a show that I have never seen in Victoria (for the Bay Crits, HST or Nationals). Adelaide is cheap and easy for people from QLD, NSW and VIC to travel to – and I wouldn’t stay in Victoria in Jan to watch the TDU here.

  • My wife and I could go to the TDU as easily in February as January. But, we meet up with lots of friends who couldn’t do that. Three separate families (funnily enough all mum dad & 2 kids) come over for the week from Melbourne, Canberra and Shepparton to all meet up in Radelaide. Move the race from January to February and it will wither and die…

  • AlaninEssex

    I haven’t read the UCI terms of reference, but I’m assuming that it’s a global organisation, rather than a northern hemisphere or European organisation. So, it should act like a global organisation and take account of such an important race as the TDU. …. and before you say anything, yes I know that the european races are long established and valuable events. I’m expecting to see a balanced reform and proposed annual programme that reflects the global nature of this amazing sport, and which also takes account of the demands placed upon the riders. It also needs to do it’s bit to make this sport more attractive to sponsors.

    • Dave

      The UCI is very much a Euro-centric organisation despite the global-sounding name. There are no WorldTour events in South America, Africa or Asia, and only eight days of WorldTour racing shared between Australia (the TDU) and Canada (2x one day races).

      Where the fat needs to be trimmed is at the end of the season, not the start. All the races after the Road World Championships should be abolished.

    • Adrian

      The UCI has no idea what its role is. All licence riders are technically members but the organisation serves nobody, is accountable to nobody, is undemocratic and bankrupt.

  • Dave

    The UCI’s proposal has the TDU in January, and it was that way even before the Tour of Beijing was killed off to shorten the back end of the season by a week and a half –

    That proposal even leaves open the possibility for the Victorian Government to get off their pudgy arses and invest in the Cadel Evans race to get it up to the WorldTour. If they don’t, someone in South Africa or South America (two continents without ANY WorldTour races between them) will take that date and the Cadel race will get stuck as a UCI Oceania Tour event.

    But I wouldn’t be betting on any of the reforms being adopted apart from abolishing the instances where different WorldTour races are run on the same day, the UCI is infamously afraid of ever pulling the trigger and doing something.

    • I believe that table is from the leaked UCI reform document of two years ago, as per this article: As Tracey Gaudry suggests, the scope of the reforms has changed quite a bit since then; the proposed date of the TDU might have as well. It’s just not clear at this point.

      • Dave

        The ambition to have a two division structure might have had to be cut back a bit, there’s not enough money flowing into the sport for that and profit sharing isn’t going to work when only a select few races are profitable.

        Perhaps the SA government should suggest to the UCI that they’d be open to accepting a compromised date for the TDU a week later, and how about giving them the hosting rights for the 2019 Road and 2020 MTB World Championships as a fair trade for putting the good of the sport above the good of their event :D

  • straight outta norwood

    I’d prefer the TDU in October, spring in Adelaide is fabulous and the televisuals would be nicer, no scorched Adelaide hills and 40+ degree furnaces

    • Winky

      Yes, summer in ‘straya is too damn hot for bike racing, and most other sports for that matter.

      • Dave

        Rule #5.

        No coincidence that an Adelaide rider won the opening time trial of the Tour de France which was conducted in conditions hotter than any day of the 2015 TDU was.

    • ceedee

      That’s something that has to be consisted, Adelaide’s summer is only going to get hotter and hotter and hotter.

      • Dave

        February is hotter than January in Adelaide – this year’s TDU only had two days where the Adelaide maximum temperature (usually 3-4 degrees warmer in the city than in the hills where the race is conducted) was over 30 degrees.

        • ceedee

          Where did I say February was cooler than January and what does this summer got to do with the future. Climate Change, heard of it?

    • The weather might be better but it’s highly unlikely you’d attract a field of any real quality. The benefit of it being in January, as Mike Turtur says, is that riders have had a break and are building into the new season. For the Aussie riders in particular (with the Nationals and other events at that time of year) it makes sense to target January. In October, the season is effectively over and rider motivation is low.

  • touristeroutier

    I think there are 2 issues here, the date and World Tour status.

    It seems that the local preference is to keep the historical date, and a change in date would be detrimental.. So the next question is, does the race NEED to be a World Tour Race in order to succeed? While I understand that being a World Tour event brings certain teams and global interest, races can succeed by being 2.HC or 2.1, still attract good teams, and provide more opportunities for local squads, which often bring their own intrigue and stories.

    If you need to be World Tour (to get the teams and media), than you are hitching you future to the UCI and their vision; not something I’d necessarily want to do. It also means that you haven’t built something strong enough to stand on its own, (since the teams would no longer be required to attend, and the media might not follow).

    • ceedee

      World Tour doesn’t mean shit, Tour de San Luis attracts just as good if not better field.

      • 42x16ss

        Arguably more big names, sure. TDU has always had a deeper field though.

        • Dave

          That’s the effect of it being a full point-scoring race.

          There’s a very good reason that none of the “big names” who happen to ride for more financially secure teams (Sky, Astana, Katusha) go to San Luis to get flogged by the local semi-pros – they don’t need to!

          That being said, if San Luis can get their organisation into shape and the UCI takes on the vested interests in Europe to trim down the back end of the season so it finishes with the world championships, I would thoroughly support San Luis becoming the second WorldTour event of the year. Start San Luis a week after the TDU finishes, then go on to a race in South Africa and one in Qatar before the European season starts and you start to have something that looks a little like a genuine world schedule.

  • Derek Maher

    The problem as I see it with the UCI world Tour is geography and money.Okay the idea is nice but the UCI lost money last year and a lot of teams are borderline broke and we will be lucky to see more than a few teams competing in the whole Tour the way things are going.God knows how the womens new world tour is going to work with teams having to compete in every race to keep their status ?.
    Maybe its time the UCI dropped this programme and sticks to the world championship events and putting more money into cycling development.

  • SpaceKnight

    The tour down under is a really important race… for the southern hemisphere. it`s the biggest race south and east of the globe.
    But internationally the race is difficultly timed, too early to attract the best riders and if they come they will not be in shape. (see what happened to Kittel this year, that can all be tracked back to the TDU. no team wants that.)
    As such the TDU would suit european/american riders better if the race was held later.

    Also The whole World tour needs condensing, the calendar needs to be shorter and more international. sacrificing the TDU might open up the calendar enough to give England, germany and eastern europe the space to add to the classic season.
    A defence for the TDU can be adding international races in the region (cadel race is a start) a world tour race in new zealand, tasmania and south africa would keep a large contingent of riders bussy enough to really peak towards that part of the season.

    • Rupert Walsh

      Whilst Kittel tanked, I also saw what happened to Rohan Dennis this year, TDU didn’t do his season any harm!

  • MG

    i think a way needs to be made for world tour teams to make money from us fans spectating somehow to help the sport survive. what other sports that are this big don’t require one cent to be spent to actually “watch” the sport?

    • Peter

      I don’t pay for any sport that I watch. (Free-to-air-TV). But then I only watch cycling regularly.

      • Dave

        But when you watch FTA-TV you are paying for the races teams – by way of putting up with ads which make sponsorship and TV rights possible.

  • Mark

    The question I’d pose is… what is the UCI trying to achieve with it’s reforms? Put simply, having people on the side of the road at an event in January might not be high on their agenda (notwithstanding that the TdU doesn’t need to be a WorldTour event anyway).

  • Adrian

    This promises to be a complete disaster and smacks of Stalinism . Mike is 100% correct – but what he is really saying is that the TDU
    is commercial/business enterprise – like any sporting event – whether it is theOlympic Games or club criterium. I am not sure the UCI understands this – afterall I suppose they think the TDU can be moved to December? Events must be designed to serve participants, be watchable, provide value to sponsors, be affordable and profitable. People who run successful commercial sporting events, competitions or event series, whether it is Bernie Ececlestone, ASO or SuperSprint understand event management and business. They take risks and put their head on the block. They understandably know how to plan and execute a successful event and in reality they ‘own’ these events. History has shown repeatedly that governing sporting bodies – which has strengths in regulation and administration have absolutely no idea how to design or run a successful sporting event and have no idea what it takes to do so. If you look at the most successful cycling events they were created and are run by commercial media organizations – not the local, national or international governing sporting body. The UCI and Cycling Australia are practically insolvent for a reason – they are not run as a service driven commercial enterprise. They keep dabbling in the space and keen loosing money handover fist. The idea that the UCI should dictate and regulate the cycling calendar is tantamount to a 1950 communist state – and we know how well that turned out. They simply lack the experience, qualification and track record to so. Could you imagine if the government came out and said they were going to dictate the location, style, menus, pricing and form of Melbourne’s restaurants! What should the UCI be doing?

    I prefer a deregulated model. In my opinion the UCI and CA should focus on always encouraging and promoting organisations who take a risk and put on cycling events and should not interfere with the timing, location and form of the event – or any commercial consideration. They should do everything possible to encourage and support organisers and help remove barriers put up by government. Their role should be to ensure the sporting rules, administrative arrangements and MINIMUM standards (e.g. safety) are met by the organiser. Sanctioning should be a ‘desirable’ quality benchmark. The UCI (and CA) should stay out of questions about prize money, who can or cant compete or the colour of jerseys. With a few exceptions they (UCI and CA) should stay out of creating and organising events – like the National Road Series – which is not viable. From there the UCI should leave it to the market and allow teams, sponsors and spectators to freely decide which events they will participate in and support. If events clash or compete so be it. If the season is to long – so be it. If the season is too short or has gaps – so be it. Some events will become history and some new exciting one will start. At the end of the day the sport will have better more successful events, the sport will be more viable, sponsors, teams and spectators will be happier. The opportunity to cater for more diverse participants can only be better and the sport might build a commercially attractive (non cyclist) fan base.

    For to long the UCI and CA have had a mindset which thinks about how to carve up the pie, instead they should think of strategies to make the pie bigger.

    • Derek Maher

      You make some very good observations in your Post Adrian.
      To many amatuers involved in the UCI who lack experience in running things on a commercial basis.
      Plus they are to prone to being influenced by pressure groups and can like politicians be swayed into spending their budgets in a wasteful manner.
      Best if they stick to keeping their efforts focussed on development and promotion of cycling through the media and avoid the pitfalls.


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