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Santos Festival of Cycling again replaces Tour Down Under in 2022

Santos Festival of Cycling
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Tour Down Under will again be missing from the UCI WorldTour calendar in 2022 due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but the Australian race organisation has confirmed that the Santos Festival of Cycling will again be held in its place in Adelaide in January. The 2022 men's WorldTour will start with the UAE Tour in early February.

The domestic event will feature three-day stage races for elite women and elite men, as well as men’s and women’s criteriums in Victoria Park. The women’s stage race takes place from January 23-25, and the men’s and women’s criteriums are on the evening of January 26, while the men’s stage race will be from January 27-29, with the grand finale atop Willunga Hill.

The Santos Festival of Cycling begins with a track event at the Adelaide Superdome on January 21, and there are also para-cycling, mountain bike, cyclo-cross and BMX events during the week.

“The Santos Tour Down Under is Australia’s greatest cycling race, the place where world road cycling starts each year and an event that is very important for South Australia. For that reason it was critical that we again considered the possibility of delivering the event in January 2022,” Events South Australia Executive Director Hitaf Rasheed said in a statement.

“After much discussion and consultation with the UCI, along with a range of teams and stakeholders, we have concluded that it’s simply not possible due to the tight timeframes and impact on plans made subsequent to our announcement just over a month ago.”

As in 2021, the Tour Down Under is thus replaced by a smaller domestic event, the Santos Festival of Cycling. Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) won the overall title in the men’s event last year, while Richie Porte triumphed atop Willunga Hill. Sarah Gigante (Team Garmin Australia) claimed overall victory in the women’s race.

This year’s women’s stage race has finishes in Williamstown, Echunga and Lobethal, while the men’s race will have finales in Lobethal, Woodside and Willunga Hill.

“The stages are designed to feature not only some of the most iconic scenery recognised around the world but provides a unique opportunity for teams to feature their riders’ particular strengths,” said race director Kimberley Conte.

“Designing the stages for the Santos Festival of Cycling this year gives competitors, onlookers and cycling enthusiasts an array of new tracks added to the program, for the ultimate endurance test,” said her colleague Stuart O’Grady.

The Tour Down Under was first held in 1999 and it was added to the WorldTour calendar in 2008, while the first edition of the Women’s Tour Down Under took place in 2016. Richie Porte won the most recent edition of the men’s race in 2020, while Ruth Winder claimed the women’s title.

While Australia will again be without a WorldTour event in 2022 – the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race has also been cancelled – the country is due to the host the UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong from September 18-25.

Santos Festival of Cycling: Elite Road Races and Criteriums

Sunday 23 January: Women’s Ziptrak Stage 1 – Tanunda (start from Chateau Tanunda)- Williamstown

Monday 24 January: Women’s Westpac Stage 2 – McLaren Vale (start from Penny’s Hill Wines) to Echunga

Tuesday 25 January: Women’s Be Safe Be Seen Stage 3 – Lobethal-Lobethal

Wednesday 26 January: Trek Night Riders (Men’s and Women’s) Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi

Thursday 27 January: Men’s Ziptrak Stage 1 – Stirling to Lobethal

Friday 28 January: Men’s Westpac Stage 2 – Mount Lofty Summit to Woodside

Saturday 29 January: Men’s Be Safe Be Seen Stage 3 – McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill

 

Santos Festival of Cycling, other events

Friday 21 January:

Adelaide Track League, Adelaide Superdrome

Saturday 22 January:

MTB Gravity Enduro Event, Fox Creek MTB Park

Adelaide Track League, Adelaide Superdrome (sprint program)

Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 January:

National Cup BMX Round (venue TBC)

Sunday 23 January:

Santos Paracycling Time Trial = Williamstown

Thursday 27 January:

Santos Paracycling Teams Event, Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi

Norwood Cycling Club Criteriums, Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi

Friday 28 January:

Norwood Cycling Club Criteriums, Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi

MTB XC Short Track Event, Eagle MTB Park

Saturday 29 January:

National Cup Cyclo-Cross Event, Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi

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