Following the announcement that the South Australian government has expressed interest in hosting the 2020 World Championships, Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur has welcomed the decision despite having no prior knowledge of the bid.
Speaking with AAP and Cyclingnews on the start line of stage 4 of the Australian WorldTour stage race, Turtur explained that Adelaide perfectly suits the World Championships, with his race displaying the versatility of riding within 30 minutes of the city centre.
"We have all the appropriate circuits to chose from, so the terrain and access to the hills and all that from the city would work really well," said Turtur, who has been race director of the Tour Down Under since it debuted on the calendar in 1999.
News of the potential bid led the front page of The Advertiser Friday, with South Australian tourism minister Leon Bignall explaining to the newspaper his constructive conversations with UCI president Brian Cookson this week.
"We've got the capabilities to host it and the know-how," Bignell told The Advertiser, adding that he and the government had committed a further $6 million to the Tour Down Under race budget. "(Events SA manager) Hitaf (Rasheed) and I had a chat with Brian (Cookson) about the future, so we've put it on the record that we're keen to get world titles in any cycling discipline."
As a fresh candidate for the Worlds, the location of courses and profiles for the road race and time trial are currently of secondary importance in the overall context of the bid. Asked if he would involve himself in the Worlds should the bid be successful, a diplomatic Turtur explained, "I would have to consider what the proposal was and work it from there."
Australia hosted the 2010 World Championships in Geelong, with the premier event only venturing out of Europe on two occasions since, at Richmond in 2015 and Doha last October. The 2017 Worlds will be held in Bergen Norway, with Innsbruck in Austria and Yorkshire in Great Britain to follow. A 2020 Worlds in Adelaide would fit into the UCI's strategy of globalising the sport, and in Australia has a country with a long and successful cycling history.
"The road world championships is pretty up there, isn't it? As we saw in Geelong, it's a great event," Turtur added of the attractiveness of the event. "I have been to many world championships, so I know they are high-quality events catering to men and women through all the different age groups."