The race that kicks off the international professional road cycling season, the 2006 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, will feature some new towns along the route as the race gains momentum in the Australian sporting claendar.
South Australian Tourism Minister, Jane Lomax-Smith, revealed that Mawson Lakes, Stirling and Yankalilla will for the first time host stages of the 2006 event, to be held from Tuesday, January 17 until Sunday, January 22.
The Minister also revealed an Australian angle on the traditional leader's jersey. In past years, the JCTDU leader's jersey had followed Tour de France tradition and been a shade of bright yellow, but for next year it will be 'ochre', an earthy, orange-brown colour that is widely used by Aboriginal artists.
Ms Lomax-Smith said, "The event has matured and now has a leader's jersey in a colour that represents Australia.
"The colour ochre is strongly associated with Australia and the Tour wanted to create something unique that will be identified on the world stage.
The Minister said the increasing profile of the race had resulted in almost 12,000 international and national visitors attending the 2005 event, generating an economic benefit to the State of AUS$13.2M.
"The success of this high-profile cycling event with thousands of tourists has allowed South Australia to push cycling like never before. We expect an increase in visitors in 2006 because of additional activity at the Tour de France and partnerships with cycling tour operators," she says.
"Our very own bicycle-riding kangaroo character named 'Oppy', sent to France to promote the State during the Tour de France, is reportedly a huge hit and the most popular entrant in the Tour de France pre-race publicity caravan.
"Hand-outs and competitions promoting South Australia and the race are being distributed to the millions of spectators who line the streets of France each day of the race."
For more information see www.tourdownunder.com.au.
2006 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under Stages
Stage 1 - Tuesday, January 17: East End Adelaide Street Race, 50 km
Stage 2 - Wednesday, January 18: Mawson Lakes to Angaston, 148 km
Stage 3 - Thursday, January 19: Stirling to Hahndorf, 146 km
Stage 4 - Friday, January 20: Strathalbyn to Yankalilla, 154 km
Stage 5 - Saturday, January 21: Willunga to Willunga, 147 km
Stage 6 - Sunday, January 22: Adelaide City Council Circuit, 90 km