08 Jul 2022

Greatness returns as men’s stages set

A historic Riverbank prologue and finish atop Mount Lofty headline race routes for the return of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) WorldTour Santos Tour Down Under in January 2023.

Stages for the 2023 men’s race were launched today, with new start and finish locations in the mix and fans invited to enjoy about 700 kilometres of action from Tuesday 17–Sunday 22 January. The curtain-raiser Schwalbe Classic circuit through central Adelaide will take place on Saturday 14 January.

Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said the UCI WorldTour event would return with fresh energy and share the state at its best.

“We are very excited as anticipation is building for this major event,” Ms Bettison said.

“We know how important the Santos Tour Down Under is to South Australia’s tourism sector and its power to capture international attention. It’s more good news for our tourism sector which is bouncing back with record CBD hotel bookings and more flights landing at Adelaide Airport.

“Just over six months from now – both the men’s and women’s races will be held at the highest level of competition, and we are absolutely ready to share South Australia with a global audience once again.”

The Santos Tour Down Under men’s race has secured its place at the highest level of international cycling competition for the next three years.

The UCI has granted the event registration on its WorldTour calendar for the 2023, 2024 and 2025 seasons – a move that ensures the best international teams and riders will continue to compete in South Australia each January.

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing Katrine Hildyard said it was exciting news for Australia’s greatest cycling race.

“South Australia has a proud and historic cycling culture that is only further enhanced by hosting a UCI WorldTour event,” Ms Hildyard said.

“I warmly welcome the Santos Tour Down Under back for its twenty-third edition, under Race Director, and inaugural winner, Stuart O’Grady. We are also delighted that, for the first time, we will be welcoming the world’s most elite female cyclists to SA for a UCI Women’s WorldTour event. Our government is committed to showcasing and advancing women’s sport and having this international event is an important part of those efforts.

“The Santos Tour Down Under goes hand in hand with, and strengthens, the elite talent pathway provided through the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) Cycling Program. Its presence on the State’s sporting calendar will hopefully inspire future generations of South Australians to achieve sporting excellence.”

Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Stuart O’Grady OAM said race routes would test elite international riders as they compete in South Australia for the first time since 2020.

“The 2023 race routes have been designed to test our cyclists like never before whilst taking fans to the heart of the action,” Mr O’Grady said.

“The Santos Tour Down Under will open with an exciting new time trial: the EFEX Prologue around Adelaide’s Riverbank is an event first, taking place on a loop around the Torrens with each rider beginning on the Riverbank bridge and tackling the course individually – it’s man versus clock in this all-out effort.

“More event firsts include a formidable Mount Lofty finisher and a stunning beachside stage start at Brighton – all the race routes showcase South Australia at its very best and we can’t wait welcome the international cycling community back to our state.”

The 2023 Santos Tour Down Under men’s stages are:

Saturday 14 January
Schwalbe Classic – Central Adelaide
Fans are invited to welcome elite riders to South Australia at this city curtain-raiser, to be raced along Flinders, Wakefield and Pulteney streets and beside the Tour Village in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga.

Tuesday 17 January
EFEX Prologue – Adelaide Riverbank, 5.5km
This time trial is an event first. Each rider will begin on the Riverbank bridge and tackle a city route set to thrill fans.

Wednesday 18 January
Ziptrak Stage 1 – Tanunda to Tanunda, 150km
South Australia’s renowned Barossa region will welcome this stage – expect a blistering sprint as the peloton storms home.

Thursday 19 January
Stage 2 – Brighton to Victor Harbor, 156km
Beachside Brighton is hosting its first stage start. The peloton will trace the esplanade before heading for Aldinga, then two tough climbs before a big finish in Victor Harbor.

Friday 20 January
Stage 3 – Norwood to Campbelltown, 118.5km
The climbers have their chance to shine on three ascents: Norton Summit, Checkers Hill and Corkscrew Road. Who will have the legs to take it out?

Saturday 21 January
Stage 4 – Port Willunga to Willunga, 135.3km
Idyllic Port Willunga is set to host this stage start – another event first. The peloton will travel through McLaren Vale before a slightly uphill sprint to the line in the township of Willunga.

Sunday 22 January
Stage 5 – Unley to Mount Lofty, 114km
Expect a frenzied push to the finish. The peloton will leave from Unley and head for the Adelaide Hills, completing four passes of a 25-kilometre loop around Crafers and ascending Mount Lofty for the first time in Santos Tour Down Under history.

The Santos Tour Down Under 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.

Stages for the Santos Tour Down Under women’s race – a new addition to the UCI Women’s WorldTour – will be launched later this year.

Please visit tourdownunder.com.au for more information.

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