Italian cycling legend centre stage at TDU Legends’ Dinner

06 December 2015

Minister Leon Bignell
Minister for Tourism

One of the biggest names in Italian world cycling will take centre stage at the Legends’ Night Dinner as part of 2016 Santos Tour Down Under.

Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said one-day race specialist, Paolo Bettini, who claimed victory due to his strength and sprinting ability, would enthrall guests with his stories and experiences.

“Paolo Bettini was the UCI Road World Champion in 2006 and 2007 as well as winning the UCI Road World Cup consecutively for three years in 2002, 2003 and 2004,” Mr Bignell said.

“Bettini had victories at the 2000 and 2002 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Giro di Lombardia in both 2005 and 2006 as well as overall honors at the Milano-Sanremo and the Clásica de San Sebastián in 2003.

“In 2004, Paolo won the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the Men’s Road Race.
“With the nickname ‘Il Grillo’ (the cricket) due to his sudden attacks on the road, I am sure he will have many entertaining anecdotes.”

Paolo Bettini said he was already looking forward to visiting Adelaide – his first trip here - and was very humbled be next year’s Legend.

“I have heard many great things about the Tour Down Under and am looking forward to seeing the race in action for myself,” he said.

“I am deeply touched and never thought throughout my career I would be honored in such a way. I can’t wait to travel to South Australia and meet the fans.”

Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur said having the cycling great at the event was a massive coup.

“It is not often that a rider can lay claim to world championships, multiple classic victories and grand tour stage wins all in one career.”

International voices of cycling Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen will also join the Today Show’s Tim Gilbert on stage, along with event ambassadors Jens Voight and Anna Meares.

Visit www.tourdownunder.com.au for more information and to book for the Legends’ Night Dinner. Tickets are $250 per person and are on sale until January 13 2016 at 5pm.

The 2016 Santos Tour Down Under will be held from 16 – 24 January 2016.

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