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Jonker, O’Grady, Turtur to be honoured
Plans are afoot for an ambitious addition to Australia's National Road Series calendar, a three-stage event slated for May 2013 for
both men and women in South Australia that will honour Adelaide's finest cycling exports.
The 'Adelaide Tour' will be run on the fringe of the CBD and much like the event's big brother, the Tour Down Under, allowing teams to have easy access to each day's depart. A complimentary cyclo sportif event is also being planned for Cycling Australia silver members.
"We know that we're not going to get the crowds of the number of the Tour Down Under, that's not what we're trying to achieve," event mastermind Max Stevens told Cyclingnews. "We're trying to give elite cyclists and participation cyclists something that they can experience close to Adelaide."
Stevens who manages Stuart O'Grady, has developed the Adelaide Tour with local businessman Renditon Homes' Wayne Fazzalari and the pair are confident of raising around $50,000 in prize money. The Adelaide Tour has the support of Cycling Australia, Cycling South Australia, the Tour Down Under and Tourism South Australia.
Cyclingnews can also reveal that the Adelaide Tour will pay tribute to the region's cycling greats. Stage 1 will be named the Patrick Jonker Team Time Trial and is expected to be raced over a distance of around 20km on the Friday from the well-worn path at Cudlee Creek to Campbelltown.
"The way we're trying to design it is that if we have a team time trial, people aren't going to get blown away on the first day," explained Stevens. "It will make it a competitive day two and three."
Stage 2 will be the 130km Stuart O'Grady Road Race which will hopefully be raced through the Adelaide Hills, with the event concluding on the Sunday with the Mike Turtur Kermesse. Organisers are hoping that the final stage can be run in conjunction with the Thorndon Park Family Fun Day which attracts between 3,500 to 4,000 people.
"You've got to bring the people to the event," said Stevens.
It is hoped that the Adelaide Tour will be a category 1 NRS event, which under this year's points system would see the new event on the same level as Tour of Gippsland, Goulburn to City, Tour of Tasmania, Grafton to Inverell and the iconic Melbourne to Warrnambool.
"We want this to be as good or better than the Herald Sun Tour – that's going to be our focus," Stevens told Cyclingnews.
More information will be released in coming months with the Adelaide Tour's website being launched in July. For now, updates are available by following the Adelaide Tour on Twitter.