Santos Tour Down Under has confirmed its 2021 dates for both the men’s and women’s events.
The race, which has established itself as the first men’s WorldTour event on the cycling calendar, maintains its traditional mid-January slot, taking place January 19-24. The 2.0 tier Women’s Tour Down Under runs during the days before, January 14-17.
The one-day men’s race Schwalbe Classic criterium is scheduled for January 17.
Full routes are yet to be confirmed, but the racing will continue to play out in Adelaide and the surrounding area. Race organizers are working to deliver a full program for its 23rd edition, “and will monitor the situation as it relates to COVID-19.”
The 2020 Tours, won by Richie Porte and Ruth Winder (both Trek-Segafredo), were staged not long after wildfires devastated wide areas of southern Australia. While race director Hitaf Rasheed acknowledged that the disaster reduced crowd numbers slightly, the event was still an economic and touristic success, and played a key part in uniting people in the area, showing that south Australia was back “open for business” after the turmoil.
“In a difficult time for all Australians, we’re really pleased with the outcomes the 2020 event generated,” Rasheed said in a statement Tuesday. “These outcomes should be celebrated by those services and companies who contribute directly to the event. These include hundreds of volunteers, our state emergency services, event partners, including our naming rights partner Santos and host councils.”
“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.”
Stuart O’Grady will take the reins as race director for the first time in 2021, taking over from Mike Turtur, who held the role since the race started in 1999.