03 Jan 2023
Alerts

Santos Tour Down Under champions return to Australia’s greatest cycling race

Rohan Dennis
Rohan Dennis

Past victors from the Santos Tour Down Under will return to South Australia in January for the opening race of the 2023 UCI WorldTour.

Adelaide’s own and former World Champion Rohan Dennis, now riding for Jumbo-Visma, took home the Santos Tour Down Under title in 2015, when he heroically beat his then team-mate, Cadel Evans, in a thrilling finish at Paracombe.

He also took home the Young Rider’s Jersey in the same year, making his mark in front of his home crowd and the international cycling community.

Since then, Dennis has become a double World Champion for Australia with dominant victories at the Men’s Individual Time Trial in 2018 and 2019.

Most recently he claimed the gold medal in the Individual Time Trial at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Israel – Premier Tech’s Daryl Impey holds a notable record as the only male rider to have successfully defended their Santos Tour Down Under crown with back-to back wins. His aggressive, and strategical efforts in 2018 and 2019, gave him the general classification wins, beating the ‘King of Willunga Hill’, Richie Porte on both accounts.

The South African’s triumphant Santos Tour Down Under history also includes helping Australian team-mate Simon Gerrans to overall victories in 2014 and 2016.

2005 overall winner Luis Leon Sanchez, has previously delighted Santos Tour Down Under fans with multiple stage victories and general classification contentions across the past 17 years and still holds the record as its youngest overall winner.

Sanchez’s victory at the 2005 race was a launching pad for his international cycling career that includes winning Paris-Nice, 28 Grand Tour participations and multiple Tour de France stage wins, making him one of the most seasoned riders to line up at next year’s race.

The experienced Spanish Pro cyclist will make his 12th appearance in Australia’s Greatest Cycling race with Astana Qazaqstan in 2023.

Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Stuart O’Grady said fans will be excited to see these names on the starting list for 2023.

“Dennis, Impey and Sanchez are heroes to spectators, and they have engraved themselves into the history of the event,” O’Grady said.

“Dennis will be the man to watch in the efex Prologue, our first ever Prologue, while Daryl and Luis will be working hard to set up their teammates in the later stages.

“The Santos Tour Down Under has produced many great champions in its 22-year history, to have them return and battle against the newest, emerging talents signifies the appeal of the race.

“It also means next year’s event will have great pedigree of riders, with the best to come out on top after the summit finish at Mount Lofty.”

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 UCI WorldTour men’s and women’s racing.

Please visit tourdownunder.com.au for more information.