On 1st November 2020, the Santos Tour Down Under organisers announced there would be no international event in January 2021. However, there will be a smaller-scale national event held, with the details yet to be finalised.
“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.”
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.
Although it was not specifically mentioned in the media release, it stands to reason that there will also not be a Tour Village and Expo in the scaled-down event. The expo has been the largest, and most expensive bike expo in Australia for well over a decade.