Tour Down Under and Cadel’s Road Race scrapped for 2022

Australia's two WorldTour races have been cancelled for a second year running.

Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.

Jump To Comments

The 2022 cycling calendar has already suffered its first casualties, with the two marquee Australian races – the Santos Tour Down Under and Cadel’s Great Ocean Road Race – called off for a second consecutive year.

Although the events are held in separate states – South Australia for the Tour Down Under, Victoria for Cadel’s Road Race – the fate of the two has been linked for as long as they have co-existed, forming a block of racing in the early season.

As was the case in 2021, the logistics of bringing the peloton and its entourage to Australia has proven too challenging due to the uncertainty around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Santos Tour Down Under is a much-loved event on the world cycling and Australian sporting calendar and an important economic driver for South Australia, attracting 44,000 people, injecting 742 jobs and more than $66 million into the economy when last held in 2020,” said Hitaf Rasheed, Events South Australia Executive Director. “We have fully explored all avenues, but unfortunately in the end it was the border closures and quarantine requirements for more than 400 people that make up the international teams that proved to still be too difficult to overcome.”

A separate press release from Visit Victoria landed shortly after the Tour Down Under announcement, reading that “Visit Victoria has been advised that the WorldTour Teams will not be able to travel to Australia for January’s elite cycling calendar due to national quarantine challenges.” 

“We know this is disappointing for race organisers, our partners, communities along the Surf Coast and cycling fans from all over who love the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race,” Visit Victoria CEO Brendan McClements said.

As in 2021, the Tour Down Under will be replaced with the Santos Festival of Cycling – a program of events across multiple disciplines and locations which last year included cyclocross, paracycling, track cycling, MTB, BMX and a national-level road race.

“Adelaide in January is all about cycling and our cycling friends from all around Australia gathering here. Although international major events continue to be challenging, we will celebrate cycling in January 2022 in the best way we know how and welcome visitors to Adelaide once again to kick off the new year,” said Premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall.

Visit Victoria’s press release indicates that the state is exploring options for an international cycling event later in 2022, but provides no further details about what form that may take.

In a global context, Australia has dodged the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with relatively low case levels compared to much of the rest of the world. The country is, however, battling a Delta outbreak across its two most populous states while it simultaneously races to increase vaccination levels to allow a return to some level of normality. South Australia is effectively COVID-free, but has closed its borders to Victoria and New South Wales.

Editors' Picks