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October 27, 2020
Photography by Tim Bardsley-Smith
The Advertiser newspaper out of Adelaide reports that fresh doubt has been cast on the 2021 Tour Down Under after organisers said they are making contingency plans for the event.
“The Santos Tour Down Under is an important event for South Australia and it’s for that reason that we are ensuring we take as much time as necessary to consider fully whether it’s possible to deliver a safe and successful (event) for South Australia, our event partners, the UCI and the teams,” Events SA executive director Hitaf Rasheed said to The Advertiser.”
“There are a lot of moving parts in making a decision like this. There are many stakeholders, and we have been working closely with them to ensure we arrive at the best possible outcome for all concerned.
“(It) signifies the start of our South Australian summer and festival season and it delivers millions of dollars to our local economy, drives significant media coverage and gives South Australian’s a sense of pride and happiness.
“Its importance is why we have worked so hard to consider if and how this event can be successfully delivered.
“We have also been considering alternate scenarios if we are unable to deliver the Santos Tour Down Under with UCI men’s and women’s races in January, including how to present cycling in some format in South Australia in January.
“We expect to be in a position to announce our decision within the next week.”
It’s only 11 weeks until the Women’s Tour Down Under starting on January 14, 2021 followed by the men’s race on January 19. You can see the full dates here.
It’s understood that scaling back the race to a national-level event is an option that’s being considered. A major obstacle for for international teams is whether they will have to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival which they say is not feasible. Crowd control and coordinating a COVID-safe environment is another major hurdle for organisers, the Advertiser reports.