23 Jan 2023

Santos Tour Down Under heralded a huge success

Santos Tour Down Under 2023, Adelaide Hills
Santos Tour Down Under 2023, Adelaide Hills

The long-awaited return of the Santos Tour Down Under to the international stage has been heralded a success, with bumper crowds for women’s stages, an expansive global broadcast audience and two Australians claiming the Ochre Leader’s Jersey.

The quality of the men’s peloton reached new heights, with four GrandTour winners and each of the stages won by riders from a different country, including eventual winner Jay Vine from Australia.

Australian Grace Brown claimed the first Ochre Leader’s Jersey in the Santos Tour Down Under’s debut Women’s WorldTour race, with large crowds to watch some of the best riders in the world compete.

An estimated 780,000 people attended the race over the past 10 days, while millions of households across 190 territories around the world watched elite racing and breathtaking views of some of South Australia’s iconic tourism destinations.

Businesses in the city and along the race routes have also reported strong January trade, with operators from Brighton to Willunga, Victor Harbor to Uraidla welcoming the extra visitors to their regions.

The new-look City of Adelaide Tour Village, including Australia’s biggest bike expo, was a popular destination for fans in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga and opening times were extended through to Sunday afternoon in response to the strong demand.

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said the ‘year of the party’ has started off with a bang.

"The Santos Tour Down Under has been nothing short of sensational," Minister Bettison said.

"Thank you to everyone who has turned out to cheer on the riders, support local businesses all along the routes and celebrate everything SA has to offer and thank you to every South Australian for supporting the event, for being patient with all the roadworks and for welcoming visitors from all over the world. South Australians are always the biggest advocates of our beautiful State.

"This is just the start of the year for big events – we’ve just finished international tennis and cycling, and now we head into the Fringe and festival season, Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel, AFL Gather Round and then LIV Golf; so many fantastic reasons to come to South Australia, and to stay and play.

"We’ve invested in building the events calendar, creating events that drive visitation and support the visitor economy as we work hard on recovering the once record $8.1 billion tourism market."

Race Director, Santos Tour Down Under, Stuart O’Grady said it was a magical moment on Mount Lofty yesterday – to have delivered the 2023 Santos Tour Down Under and take the event to the next level.

"It’s very special to have been a part of it, to see the barriers come up and the crowds come out – the Santos Tour Down Under really is my favourite race on the planet," Mr O'Grady said.

"Thank you to everyone who came out or tuned in to watch this incredible international event, it really has got people all over the world talking about South Australia."

General Manager, Hilton Adelaide, Rupert Hallam said 2023 has been the busiest Santos Tour Down Under the hotel has ever seen.

"With the addition of the women’s race, we now have approximately 470 people who call Hilton Adelaide home during the event," Mr Hallam said.

"Our team of 15 chefs have been busy cooking in excess of 15,000 meals and our laundry team washing and folding up to 2,000 towels per day.

"Aside from the riders and their teams, the new look City of Adelaide Tour Village, Schwalbe Classic in Victoria Square and the first ever city Prologue have all contributed to an increase in visitors to the city centre. There has been a great atmosphere around the hotel."

The Summit Café Mt Lofty Owner, Tony O’Donnell said this year’s Santos Tour Down Under has brought over 1,000 cyclists each day to the highest point in Adelaide, the stunning Mount Lofty Summit.

"The Adelaide Hills is proving to be a very popular location for the both the men’s and women’s races, and we’re proud to provide South Australian snacks, coffees and sweets and showcase local produce to our international guests," Mr O'Donnell said.

Note: Please note, the attendance numbers are estimates only, and official numbers will be prepared by an independent research company in the coming month.