Tour Down Under

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Tour Down Under
2014 Tour Down Under
Tour Down Under logo.svg
Race details
DateJanuary
RegionSouth Australia
English nameTour Down Under
DisciplineRoad
CompetitionUCI World Tour
TypeStage race
Race directorMike Turtur
History
First edition1999 (1999)
Editions16 (as of 2014)
First winner Stuart O'Grady (AUS)
Most wins Stuart O'Grady (AUS)
 André Greipel (GER)
 Simon Gerrans (AUS)
(2 wins)
Most recent Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED)
 
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Tour Down Under
2014 Tour Down Under
Tour Down Under logo.svg
Race details
DateJanuary
RegionSouth Australia
English nameTour Down Under
DisciplineRoad
CompetitionUCI World Tour
TypeStage race
Race directorMike Turtur
History
First edition1999 (1999)
Editions16 (as of 2014)
First winner Stuart O'Grady (AUS)
Most wins Stuart O'Grady (AUS)
 André Greipel (GER)
 Simon Gerrans (AUS)
(2 wins)
Most recent Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED)

The Tour Down Under is a cycling race in and around Adelaide, South Australia. The race attracts riders from all over the world. In 2005, the Tour Down Under was promoted by the Union Cycliste Internationale highest ranking outside Europe. In 2007 Premier Mike Rann and Tourism Minister Jane Lomax Smith launched a campaign for the Tour Down Under to become the first race outside of Europe to secure ProTour status from the UCI. Winning ProTour status against stiff international competition would guarantee that the all the world's top teams would start their annual competition each January in Adelaide.[1] In 2008 the Tour Down Under became the first UCI ProTour in Australia, and the following year it became the inaugural event of the UCI World Ranking calendar.

In September 2008 Premier Rann announced that seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong would make his comeback into professional road racing at the 2009 Tour Down Under.[2] Armstrong's participation in the 2009 Tour Down Under saw it break all previous records for sporting events held in South Australia. Visitor numbers doubled, the economic impact was more than doubled (from $17.3 million in 2008 to $39 million in 2009) and media coverage increased five-fold.[3] The 2010 Tour Down Under was named as Australia's "Best Major Event" for the second year in a row in the Qantas Tourism Awards. Armstrong participated in 3 successive Tour Down Under events, retiring from professional cycling after the 2011 event. The 2011 SANTOS Tour Down Under set new records with an economic impact of $43 million and attracting crowds of more than 782,000.[4]

Outside of Tour de France, the event attracts the biggest crowds in the world. In 2013, it attracted more than 760,400 people to Adelaide and regional South Australia across eight days, including 40,000 interstate and international visitors who travelled there specifically for the event.

History[edit]

List of overall winners[edit]

RiderTeam
1999AustraliaO'Grady, StuartStuart O'Grady (AUS)Crédit Agricole
2000FranceMaignan, GillesGilles Maignan (FRA)AG2R Prévoyance
2001AustraliaO'Grady, StuartStuart O'Grady (AUS)Crédit Agricole
2002AustraliaRogers, MichaelMichael Rogers (AUS)Australian Institute of Sport
2003SpainAstarloza, MikelMikel Astarloza (ESP)AG2R Prévoyance
2004AustraliaJonker, PatrickPatrick Jonker (AUS)UniSA
2005SpainSanchez, Luis LeonLuis León Sánchez (ESP)Liberty Seguros-Würth
2006AustraliaGerrans, SimonSimon Gerrans (AUS)AG2R Prévoyance
2007SwitzerlandElmiger, MartinMartin Elmiger (SUI)AG2R Prévoyance
2008GermanyGreipel, ANdreAndré Greipel (GER)Team High Road
2009AustraliaDavis, AllanAllan Davis (AUS)Quick Step
2010GermanyGreipel, AndreAndré Greipel (GER)Team HTC-Columbia
2011AustraliaMeyer, CameronCameron Meyer (AUS)Garmin-Cervélo
2012AustraliaGerrans, SimonSimon Gerrans (AUS)GreenEDGE
2013NetherlandsSlagter, Tom-JelteTom-Jelte Slagter (NED)Blanco Pro Cycling

List of overall women' winners[edit]

RiderTeam
2007AustraliaMacPherson, JennyJenny MacPherson (AUS)

Tour directors[edit]

Course[edit]

The Tour generally features stages surrounding Adelaide, which varies from flat to moderately undulating. There are no large mountains in the area, giving specialist climbers few opportunities to show their particular skills. One notable climb featured involves two laps of Willunga Hill, a 3 km climb at an average gradient of 7.6%.[5] However, it is typical for most tour stages to finish as a bunch sprint. The Tour does not include a time trial, as is typical in early season races and to avoid imposing extra shipping costs on the international teams.

The conditions in South Australia in late January are often very hot. Daily maximum temperatures approaching or exceeding 40 °C (104 °F) are not uncommon.

Jerseys[edit]

Leaders of competitions within the race wear a distinctive jersey.[6]

Current jerseys[edit]

Be Active Tour[edit]

Participants in the 2005 Be Active Tour at Angaston

The Tour Down Under has a companion event, the Be Active Tour. This is one of Australia's fastest growing recreational events, held over the route the professionals race later in the day. The inaugural event in 2003 was known as the Breakaway Tour and attracted more than 600 riders. In 2004 riders increased to 1,400 and the event was known on as the Be Active Tour. The 2005 tour saw more than 1,900 riders leave Salisbury, Williamstown and Angaston in 30 °C (86 °F) to tackle the hills and roads of stage 2. In 2006, riders rode 154 km from Strathalbyn to Yankalilla in temperatures in excess of 40 °C (104 °F). The heat took its toll on riders and a heat policy now exists.

In 2007 the name changed again to Mutual Community Challenge Tour and it was joined by the Mutual Community Fun Tour and Powerade mini-tour for children. The new events are to increase the popularity of the event and attract people who do not ride regularly.[7] In 2010 there were over 8,000 participants.

Records[edit]

Australians Stuart O'Grady (1999 and 2001) and Simon Gerrans (2006 and 2012) as well as German sprinter André Greipel (2008 and 2010) are the only riders to have won the Tour Down Under twice.

In fact, no winner has successfully defended his title.

Women's Criterium Series[edit]

There used to be a women's criterium series of three street circuits. This was sponsored by UniSA and was generally held at the same place as the men's race, or at the end of the men's race.[8]

For the 2011 edition there was a two-race series called the Rendition Homes Santos Women’s Cup.[9]

Traditions[edit]

One tradition of the Tour Down Under is that the fans choose an unknown rider and treat him the way they would a star, by mobbing him at hotels and painting his name on the road. The rider must be a non-English speaking domestique who most likely will not get a start at a major race and will simply act as a bottle carrier.[10] For 2010 that rider was Arthur Vichot of Francaise Des Jeux. For 2011, the rider was Angel Madrazo of Team Movistar.[11] For 2012, the rider was Wouter Mol of Vacansoleil-DCM.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ProTour Heads Down Under", Cycling News,28 September 2007
  2. ^ Associated Press, 24 September 2008
  3. ^ Cycling News 20 February 2009).
  4. ^ http://www.bikeexchange.com.au March 2011
  5. ^ "Old Willunga Hill Hill Climb | South Australia, Australia". Cycle2max.com. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  6. ^ "Jerseys". 2006 Jabob's Creek Tour Down Under. Archived from the original on 2006-09-17. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  7. ^ "Mutual Community Challenge Tour". Tour Down Under. Archived from the original on 2007-01-06. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  8. ^ Stages and Results | Tour Down Under. Retrieved 2007-01-16.
  9. ^ Cyclingnews.com.au. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
  10. ^ Port Adelaide CC Forum "Operation: Support Obscure TDU Pro". Retrieved 2010-03-02.
  11. ^ Port Adelaide CC Forum "Operation: Support Obscure TDU Pro"
  12. ^ Port Adelaide CC Forum "Operation: Support Obscure TDU Pro"

External links[edit]