Organizers of the Santos Tour Down Under named Australian track cyclist Anna Meares and German road cyclist Jens Voigt as the official ambassadors of the event at the Legends’ Night Dinner held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Saturday.
As ambassadors of the Tour Down Under for the next two years, Meares and Voigt will be active in engaging the community and encouraging visitors to attend the WorldTour event.
“Anna Meares and Jens Voigt are synonymous with cycling and success. More importantly, they are both great people who are universally respected and loved,” said South Australian Toursim Minister Leon Bignell. “Appointing Anna and Jens as ambassadors is a key part of the State Government’s commitment to making the Tour Down Under even bigger and better.”
Meares is a three-time Olympian, two-time Olympic gold medallist, five-time Olympic medallist, and ten-time World Champion. Her international success will no doubt bolster the event's stature. “The Santos Tour Down Under is an internationally recognised event with an outstanding reputation. I can’t wait to add value to the event and help promote the race and the Santos Festival of Cycling to a wider audience,” she said.
Voigt announced his retirement from professional bike racing at the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado last year after a nearly two-decade-long career. During his career, he raced for teams Crédit Agricole, CSC and Saxo Bank, Leopard Trek and RadioShack, and ended his road racing career with Trek Factory Racing.
Among his successes, he was a four-time winner of Critérium International, and won two stages at the Tour de France and one stage at the Giro d’Italia. He was the first to set a new Hour Record after retiring from road racing. He has already announced that he will continue to work with Trek Factory Racing as a consultant and a director. He is one of the most popular figures in cycling, and was named Best Twitter Personality in the 2014 Cyclingnews Reader Poll.
Voigt expressed his gratitude to the organization for appointing him as an ambassador in a press release from the event. “I’m really pleased to be formally involved with the Tour Down Under,” he said. “I love this race, it has always been one of my favourites on the calendar, and I’m proud to work with such a great team.
“The Tour Down Under has a great reputation around the world. I am looking forward to spreading the word even further. The fans in Oz are the greatest.”