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Border restrictions in Australia meant that the international WorldTour teams that make up a significant portion of the peloton in both events would not be able to attend.
Organizers of the Tour Down Under said they had tried to find an alternative but, in the end, decided to pull the plug on the two events and are now planning a “Festival of Cycling” in its place. It means that the last Tour Down Under to take place was in January 2020, with Richie Porte winning the men’s event and Ruth Winder the women’s race.
“The Santos Tour Down Under is a much-loved event on the world cycling and Australian sporting calendar and an important economic driver for South Australia, attracting 44,000 people, injecting 742 jobs and more than $66 million into the economy when last held in 2020,” Events South Australia Executive Director, Hitaf Rasheed said.
“We have fully explored all avenues, but unfortunately in the end it was the border closures and quarantine requirements for more than 400 people that make up the international teams that proved to still be too difficult to overcome.”
The Tour Down Under and the Cadel Evans Road Race were two of the few events that missed the disruption caused by the start of the pandemic in 2020 due to their early place in the calendar. However, they have felt the brunt of it since then with stringent border controls preventing nearly all travel in and out of Australia.
Organizers of the Cadel Evans Road Race said they had worked with various people “to exhaust all possibilities” in trying to ensure the race went ahead but had to cancel it in the end. While the men’s and women’s one-day races will not be held for the second year running, the organizer is looking at options to host an international event later in 2022.
“We know this is disappointing for race organizers, our partners, communities along the Surf Coast, and cycling fans from all over who love the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race,” Visit Victoria CEO Brendan McClements said.
“Visit Victoria is currently exploring opportunities to hold an international cycling event later in 2022.”