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Today race organisers announced that both the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will not be staged in 2021.
Due to the ongoing global pandemic, a number of UCI WorldTour teams have made the decision to stay in Europe due to uncertainty around international travel conditions and logistics of quarantine requirements.
Tour Down Under
Despite best efforts, race organisers have announced that the event will not go ahead in 2021. However, organisers have also announced that they plan on hosting a smaller domestic cycling festival to take its place in January 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!
“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.
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.
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
Similarly, the sticking point for teams coming into Australia was the two week quarantine period and the challenges it presented.
The full event schedule is impacted, including the UCI WorldTour Elite Men’s Road Race and the UCI WorldTour Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race, TAC Race Torquay, the Swisse People’s Ride and the VEGEMITE® Family Ride.
The announcement was made after consultation with key stakeholders, including the international UCI WorldTour teams and the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) for the Santos Tour Down Under.
Visit Victoria CEO Brendan McClements said, “We know riders and spectators will share our disappointment that our races will not feature on the international cycling calendar this summer but we look forward to bringing back this iconic event in 2022.”