08 Nov 2022
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Fun for all as Santos Tour Down Under returns to South Australia

A bevy of South Australian food, wine and produce, free family activities, live music, street parties, participation rides, and the largest-ever Tour Village are among the highlights of the 2023 Santos Festival of Cycling program announced today.

It is all part of the Santos Tour Down Under, which returns to South Australia in all its glory next year from 13-22 January.

Helping build excitement from over the border, a passionate cycling fan and AFL Premiership captain has been announced today as the Santos Tour Down Under Ambassador. Melbourne AFL Premiership Captain, Max Gawn, will help spruik the major event to interstate audiences and create hype among cycling enthusiasts.

The heart of the 10-day festival will be the new-look Tour Village in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, which will be its biggest yet and is set to bring interstate and international visitors as well as locals to the city centre.

Some of Adelaide’s leading food vendors, including Comida, Fine and Fettle, and Fiesta Tajine, will offer diverse menus which celebrate South Australian produce.

With free entry, the largest-ever Tour Village will also feature pop-up bars with daily happy hour, family zone and seating, ample shade, live music, and fresh meals by Sprout which are inspired by the race stage that day.

There will be plenty on offer for cycling fans including Australia’s largest bike expo, expert panel discussions and the chance to meet elite international riders in the Team Zone.

While the Santos Tour Down Under has all the racing action covered, the Santos Festival of Cycling is back – and brings the off-bike party to town. It extends beyond the city, with the Glenelg Ice Cream Festival, Brighton Jetty Sculptures, Uraidla High Road, Gear Up at Campbelltown, Barossa Loop de Loop and many other community events to be held at stage starts and finishes. Fans will also have the chance to meet football superstar Max Gawn.

Premier of South Australia Peter Malinauskas said the Santos Tour Down Under and associated festival events generated a significant economic boost for the state and was “set to return bigger and better than ever.”

“The event’s return to international status – and the Santos Festival of Cycling’s strong focus on South Australian produce and producers – will drive visitors to the CBD and surrounding suburbs, boosting business and expenditure right across metropolitan Adelaide,” Premier Malinauskas said.

“In 2020, the Santos Tour Down Under attracted nearly 45,000 interstate visitors and injected more than $66 million into our state’s economy.

“This event brings some of the world’s best riders, but to return in its fullest this year, with the festival surrounding the on-road action, will take this event from a cycling race to an incredible visitor experience.”

Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said she was excited to welcome interstate and international visitors to the state.

“The Santos Tour Down Under has something for everyone, from cycling fans to those who are looking to soak up the sunshine and enjoy the festival atmosphere,” Minister Bettison said.

“Historically we have seen a large spike in hotel occupancy throughout this event and we look forward to welcoming thousands of cycling fans from across the nation and the globe back to South Australia in January.

“All the festivities, together with the arrival of our international and interstate guests, will bring a very special energy to Adelaide’s heart and an important boost to business.”

Newly announced Santos Tour Down Under Ambassador Max Gawn said he couldn’t wait to experience the buzzing Adelaide atmosphere.

“As cycling fans, we are normally sitting up late watching races in different time zones over the season, so to be able to watch the best teams in the world in our own country, and better yet – in person, is an unforgettable experience,” Gawn said.

“The opportunity to go on a group ride with other fans in the morning – or meet in the village after a stage to listen to some of the riders from that day and catch up with friends – is something really unique about this race.

“It’s been a long time since we have had a cycling event like this in Australia and I’m really excited to be involved.”

Other elements of the Santos Festival of Cycling will include the return of the TREK Night Riders racing, San Remo Family Tour, daily programmed entertainment, and Breakaway Zone premium access to two stages for those keen to get close to the cycling with a wine in hand.

Cycling fans will be able to test out the latest gadgets, technology and hear from brand experts in Australia’s largest bike expo, see mechanics at work in the all-new Team Zone – set to feature both men and women’s teams for the first time – and listen to daily panel chats with cycling experts including riders from the peloton.

Amateur cyclists can also take part in daily group rides, meet and greet their favourite riders and watch stages live-streamed on the big screen in the Tour Village throughout the day.

Fans from around Australia will have even more reason to celebrate, with Virgin Australia offering free transport for 1000 bikes for passengers travelling to the Santos Tour Down Under.

The Santos Tour Down Under – and incorporated Santos Festival of Cycling – is taking place in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 13-22 January 2023. It will feature nine days of elite racing for men and women.

The Tour Village will be open from 13 to 21 January 2023. Entry is free.