Leon Bignell MP
Minister for Tourism
The Union Cycliste Internationale, the governing body for world cycling, announced overnight the Santos Women’s Tour application for a higher race classification has been granted.
The UCI Road Management Committee met in Norway as part of the current UCI World Road Championships to review the Calendar for 2018, including the application by the Santos Women’s Tour.
The 2018 Santos Women’s Tour will now be ranked as a 2.1 class race on the UCI international calendar (up from UCI 2.2) making it one step closer to achieving the long-term goal of WorldTour status.
The women’s tour will be held on January 11 - 14, 2018.
The Santos Women’s Tour started in 2015 as part of Cycling Australia’s National Road Series.
The 2016 race was elevated as part of the UCI Oceania Calendar and has grown year on year.
The 2017 Santos Women’s Tour (UCI 2.2 class event) saw 102 riders from 19 different countries contest the peloton with the overall honours going to ORICA-Scott’s Amanda Spratt.
In 2018, 17 teams of elite international and national female cyclists will return to battle it out over four stages in South Australia at the Santos Women’s Tour. Stage routes will be announced later in 2017.
UCI Classifications stage races start at 2.2, then 2.1 and 2.HC through to UCI WorldTour.
Quotes attributable to Tourism Minister Leon Bignell
There has been a huge amount of interest in the Santos Women’s Tour since it started and we have worked hard to elevate it to be part of the UCI International Calendar as a 2.1 class race.
The news from the UCI is most welcome and we know the riders will be even more inspired to put on a display of fierce competition for the fans.
The new classification means more points on offer to the riders and teams, which will be well received.
We are committed to growing the women’s race year on year both on and off the bike.
Kimberley Conte will return as Race Director in 2018 and is currently finalising the last details of the new race routes.
Next year is shaping up to be a huge year for cycling in SA, with the Santos Tour Down Under notching up its 20th year.
We know the riders love this race and know South Australia is the best place to start the cycling season.
We have invested an additional $70 million in tourism funding to market SA nationally and internationally and attract major events and conferences.
Tourism continues to energise South Australia’s economy with overseas and interstate visitors injecting $6.3 billion per year.
The State Government actively promotes and encourages women’s involvement in sport. We do so through the $24 million women’s change room facilities program, and the creation of the South Australian Women in Sport Taskforce – which has already launched a myriad of programs and campaigns.
Quotes attributable to Santos Women's Tour Race Director Kimberley Conte
This news is fantastic with the increase in status meaning the race can offer more UCI points to riders and teams.
Whilst winning is the goal, points are important to teams and are utilized for international rankings and status which is vital for ongoing exposure and sponsorship opportunities.
The change in status provides the race with a strong field of UCI international teams yet still allows the race to provide a solid pathway for our top Australian domestic teams.
The mixture of high level international and domestic teams provides our younger developing riders the chance to test their skills alongside the best riders in the world.
This news contributes to the incremental growth of women’s cycling and further cements the sport on the map providing a platform to tell our story.