Energy company Santos has extended its sponsorship of the Tour Down Under for a further three years, the organisers have confirmed. The new deal sees Santos remain the title sponsor of the WorldTour opener until at least 2022.
Santos has been the naming rights sponsor of the Tour Down Under, Australia's biggest race on the UCI calendar, since 2010. This year's edition marked a decade of the partnership and was won by Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) - who became the first rider to win back to back editions of the men's race - ahead of home rider Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Wout Poels (Team Sky).
The company has also sponsored the Women's Tour Down Under, which was won by Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) for the third time, since its inception in 2012. The women's race has grown dramatically since its first outing as a series of criteriums and this year saw the strongest field to date. The organisers reiterated their ambition to add the event to the UCI's Women's WorldTour calendar. The men's race has been part of the UCI WorldTour since 2008.
"We are thrilled that Santos has committed to extend its partnership with the Tour Down Under for another three years,'' Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, David Ridgway said in a statement on the race website.
"Santos' partnership has been critical in shaping the continued growth and success of the event, which injected more than $63.7 million [AUD] into the state's economy last year and showcases South Australia to a global audience in the tens of millions.
"Santos should be commended for its new three-year investment which also strives to ensure continual growth of the Women's Tour as we work towards our ultimate goal of UCI WorldTour status."
The men's and women's Tour Down Under form part of the Santos Festival of Cycling, which also includes the Down Under Classic criterium. This year, organisers added a one-day track event to the two weeks of racing.