Minister Leon Bignell
Minister for Tourism
In another big win for South Australia, the Santos Women’s Tour has been granted international status by the world’s governing body.
Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell said the Union Cycliste Internationale had confirmed the event would be listed on the UCI Oceania calendar and would also double as a National Road Series event.
“It has been such a huge week for South Australia with the decision by the UCI to assure the Santos Tour Down Under’s place as a UCI WorldTour event,” Mr Bignell said.
“This year was the first time we introduced the Santos Women’s Tour as part of the Subaru National Road Series race. The four day event saw a record 95 entries and 17 teams involved with the final stage in Victoria Park attracting more than 4000 spectators.
“Today’s announcement will ensure we can continue to build on this success.
“In 2015 the Santos Women’s Tour was won by ORICA-AIS and in 2016 the NRS teams will have the opportunity to race in their own country against international competitors.”
Olympic and World Champion Anna Meares said she was thrilled the UCI had given a category status of 2.2 to the Santos Women’s Tour in 2016.
“I am so excited to be a part of an era where there is growing opportunity for women in cycling. I really applaud the UCI for its positivity in prioritising women’s events,” Ms Meares said.
“Congratulations to the organisers, sponsors and State Government for helping to make this a reality. I am even more eager than ever before to be a part of the TDU in January 2016.”
Mr Bignell reconfirmed once again the TDU was a huge success story for South Australia with this year’s event contributing almost $50 million to the state’s visitor economy with a record crowd of 786,000 – with 37,000 people travelling from interstate and overseas.
In the 2015/16 State Budget, there was $6 million in extra funding over four years in this year’s State Budget to further focus on the integration of women’s cycling, grow the TV broadcast and look at more international marketing.
The Santos Women’s Tour will run 16 – 19 January 2016 as part of the Santos Festival of Cycling.