The Santos Tour Down Under, which kicks off the WorldTour season in January, has been awarded some of the top prizes at the recent Australian Event Awards night in Sydney. The week-long cycling festival was awarded Best Sporting Event for the first time in the races near 15-year history.
The race also picked up another Best Tourism Event prize, for the fourth time, after attracting over 760,000 spectators and 36,000 cycling fans in 2012, according to Events South Australia.
"Securing the coveted title of Best Sporting Event reflects the Santos Tour Down Under’s national significance," said Events SA General Manager Hitaf Rasheed.
After announcing the return of the popular hill-top finish at Wilunga Hill - which was the defining moment in the week-long race - and the addition of a stage starting at Mt Barker, the 2013 edition is set to once again draw the crowds to the city of Adelaide.
"From January 20 to 27 next year we will be celebrating 15 years of the Tour in South Australia and I’m sure it will be an occasion to remember.
The 2013 race will once again kick off with an afternoon criterium on Sunday 20 January before the Tour begins on Tuesday with a 135km route from Prospect to Lobethal. Despite a number of new additions to the race, including a grass start on stage 4, fans will be please to know the Elder Park city circuit in Adelaide will once again play host for the final stage.
"I encourage South Australians to get out and enjoy the award-winning Santos Tour Down Under as it makes its way through Adelaide and some of our state’s most spectacular regions," said Rasheed.
“Our announcement in January to extend our naming rights sponsorship until 2016 proves our dedication to the event that brings the state so much energy and vibrancy and showcases South Australia’s beautiful regions to a global audience,” said Santos Chief Executive David Knox.