The Santos Tour Down Under has announced the dates for the 2021 editions of the men's and women's races. The race organisation has also claimed this year's event was again a success, helping to show the world South Australia's response to the bushfires in the Adelaide Hills. Australian natural gas company Santos confirmed it would continue as a race sponsor in 2021.
The 2021 Santos Tour Down Under is scheduled for 14-24 January with the women’s race to be held from 14-17 January. The men’s racing will start with the Schwalbe Classic criterium on 17 January and the six stages of road racing will be held from 19-24 January.
This year's race was held before the COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of racing. In a statement, the race organisers said: "the Santos Tour Down Under is working to deliver a full program for the 2021 race and will monitor the situation as it relates to COVID-19."
Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) claimed his second overall win in the men’s race after a tense battle with Daryl Impey and the Mitchelton-Scott team. Ruth Winder gave Trek-Segafredo complete victory in Australia, becoming the youngest ever winner of the women’s race.
According to market research, 44,801 state and international visitors travelled to South Australia to attend the race, with the event generating an economic impact of $66.4 million for South Australia. A total of 779,362 spectators turned out to cheer on the world’s best cyclists as they raced 1,304 kilometres throughout the state.
"In a difficult time for all Australians, we’re really pleased with the outcomes of the 2020 event generated. These outcomes should be celebrated by those services and companies that contribute directly to the event. These include hundreds of volunteers, our state emergency services including SAPOL, CFS and SES, our event partners, including our naming rights partner Santos and host councils," Hitaf Rasheed, Executive Director, Events South Australia said.
"We were proud of the role the Santos Tour Down Under was able to play in a very difficult time for South Australia. The Adelaide Hills region featured in six of the ten road stages, with visitors embracing the message to visit and spend, particularly in affected towns.”
The 2021 Santos Tour Down Under is again expected to kick off the men's WorldTour calendar and be a major race for women after the 2020 season was rescheduled between July and November due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2020 marked Mike Turtur’s 22nd and final year in charge as race director, with Stuart O'Grady set to replace him.
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