The Tour Down Under organiser, Events South Australia, has had the dates of the 2009 stage race confirmed as January 18 to 25 by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The Australian stage race will continue as ProTour-ranked race in 2009 after it made history this year when it became the first cycling event outside of Europe to be included in the UCI's ProTour circuit. "We want next year's event to be even bigger and better than the record results we achieved in 2008," Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith explained.
She noted that the race is establishing itself in the ProTour calendar. "The announcement of the event dates for 2009 is further endorsement from the UCI that the Tour Down Under is now a regular feature on the UCI ProTour programme."
Benefit to State economy
Preliminary results from the 2008 Tour Down Under revealed a AUD$17.3 million boost to the State's economy - a 50.4% increase from 2007. In addition, there were 15,100 event-specific visitors from interstate and overseas - a 37.7% increase from 2007. Events SA estimated that some 548,000 spectators lined the roads - a 53.5% increase on last year. Further, analysis shows there was some AUD$41.7 million in media coverage to date and more than 76 hours of broadcast television programming in Australia and around the world.
"The announcement of the event dates for 2009 is further endorsement from the UCI that the Tour Down Under is now a regular feature on the UCI ProTour program. "We will start spreading the world now to maximise opportunities to target the international cycling market and travel package operators," she said.
Full stage details are expected in the coming months.