South Australia's Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under's UCI ranking has been maintained at the highest level outside Europe: 2.HC. The event, established in Adelaide in 1998, has been given the 'Hors Classe' rating in terms of international standards, as it was in 2005.
"This is great news for South Australia and the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under in terms of global recognition of its impressive success over the past seven years," Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith said, explaining the changes that will take place. "Modifications will be introduced to next year's race to comply with the international requirements for Hors Classe ranking.
"The traditional six-day event will be restructured into a five-stage race, preceded by an opening circuit race - the Jacob's Creek Down Under Classic - to replace the current Stage 1," she added.
The Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under attracted up to half a million people over its six days of racing in 2005 and has grown into the State's number one sporting event, generating a total net economic benefit of $12.5 million and the equivalent of 207 full-time jobs in South Australia.
The 2006 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under will be held in Adelaide and surrounding regions of South Australia from January 17-22, 2006.
More information: www.tourdownunder.com.au.