A promotional float for Australia's Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under (JCTDU) will be part of the publicity caravan at the Tour de France next month, JCTDU organisers have announced.
South Australian tourism minister Jane Lomax-Smith has today unveiled the central character of the JCTDU's Tour promotion - a bike riding kangaroo character called 'Oppy', after Australian cyclist and politician Sir Hubert Opperman.
For the state of South Australia, the JCTDU is a major showcase event, providing a chance to show off the region whose attractions include the wines made by the race's title sponsor.
"People from around the world line the streets of France in July each year for one of the world's largest and most well-known cycling races," said Lomax-Smith. "It presents an unrivalled opportunity and the perfect audience to promote our state and our very own Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under."
Tour de France organizer Jean-Marie LeBlanc visited the JCTDU in January of this year (see report) and LeBlanc subsequently invited the race to be represented in the Tour's publicity caravan.
It's said the parade will be featured on TdFe broadcasts to two billion people worldwide through 78 channels in 178 countries. Items to promote South Australia will be distributed to the spectators who line the streets of France for the race. "People will receive a mini road sign featuring an Australian kangaroo on one side and details of a competition to win a trip to South Australia in January 2006 on the other," Lomax-Smith added.