Leon Bignell MP
Minister for Tourism
As the world's best cyclists finish the 2017 Santos Tour Down Under, the South Australian Government has started looking at ways to make next year's 20th edition a celebration for the whole nation.
Lauded as the world's best organised and most accessible bike race by international guests and teams this week, the Santos Tour Down Under has plenty to celebrate.
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the incredible event had been embraced not only by South Australians but thousands of visitors from interstate and overseas.
Caleb Ewan and Richie Porte each recorded stage wins in this year’s TDU – proving to be some of the sport’s most versatile riders and world champion Peter Sagan and ORICA-SCOTT’s Esteban Chaves were some of the event’s major drawcards.
This year also attracted a huge number or recreational cyclists, with 5718 participating in the Bupa Challenge Tour.
The economic impact of this year's Santos Tour Down Under won't be known until March.
Last year’s event generated more than $49 million for the State’s visitor economy and we expect this year’s event, which attracted big crowds from interstate, will push the figure past $50 million for the first time.
The Santos Tour Down Under was named the Best Sporting Event in the nation at the prestigious Australian Event Awards where SA was named the Best Event State in Australia.
The State Government has invested $70 million in additional tourism funding to market South Australian nationally and internationally and attract major events.
An additional $6 million has been invested in the State Budget to make TDU bigger and better.
Quotes attributable to Tourism Minister Leon Bignell
This year’s Santos Tour Down Under has been absolutely incredible. The star power of riders like two-time world champion Peter Sagan, Richie Porte and Esteban Chaves helped to attract thousands of spectators from around Australia and the world
I was delighted to see Richie Porte, BMC Racing Team, win BikeExchange Stage 5 on Willunga Hill for the fourth time yesterday and it is likely he will take overall honors today. This is brilliant news as he is such a big supporter of the race.
Throughout the event I received so much positive feedback from the crowds who love the TDU and how much the event has evolved.
The State Government - through Events South Australia and Race Director Mike Turtur - are constantly raising the bar, reinforcing the Santos Tour Down Under’s position of the best UCI WorldTour event outside of Europe, and the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
Next year we will take the race to new levels in terms of the festival of cycling that accompanies the tour. We will pay tribute to those who have played important roles in the history of this amazing race, which started back in 1999 after Gold Medallist Mike Turtur came up with the concept.
The State Government is also committed to developing women’s cycling and I am delighted the return of the Santos Women’s Tour continued to receive such huge support from race-goers. Our Government wants the women's race to be as big as the men's Santos Tour Down Under.
This year was also the first time South Australia’s junior cycling champions came on board as stage assistants. The under 17 and under 19 riders did a magnificent job as South Australia set new standards – with the Santos TDU being the first major cycling race in the world to stop using models.
This decision further cements the State Government’s reputation for promoting girls and women in sport – from grassroots through to elite.
Quotes attributable to Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur
This year’s event has been sensational. As well as Richie’s incredible performance, we have all watched ORICA-SCOTT’s Caleb Ewan in awe. He is a rider with an extremely bright future, the next big thing in sprinting.
Peter Sagan has been a true champion, honouring the colours of the jersey and the race, adding something special to this year’s edition for the fans. We are looking forward to seeing all of the racing action in the streets of Adelaide for the final stage today.