The Santos Tour Down Under will remain part of the WorldTour until 2015 after the UCI decided to extend the licence of the early-season Australian stage race.
The race was first granted ProTour status, as it was then known, in 2008, becoming the first event outside of Europe to become a fixture at the highest level of the international calendar. Since then the Grand Prix of Montreal and Quebec have been added to the calendar as part of the UCI's attempt to globalise the sport. The Tour of Beijing will now become the fourth non-European WorldTour race in October of this year.
UCI president Pat McQuaid said in a press release that the UCI Licence Commission’s decision was fitting given “the impressive development of Australian cycling which has an excellent ambassador in Cadel Evans, World Champion in 2009 and winner of the Tour de France this year.”
The 2012 Tour Down Under will take place from January 17-22, and will include a first-ever summit finish atop Old Willunga Hill. The climb has been a fixture in the race since its first edition in 1999, which was won by Stuart O’Grady.
Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Cervelo) won this year's race.