South Australia ready for the 2024 Santos Tour Down Under
Australia’s greatest cycling race, the Santos Tour Down Under, gets underway on Friday with organisers and South Australian businesses gearing up for 10 days of elite racing and festivities.
The benefit of this world class major event is being felt across wider metropolitan Adelaide, with hotel forward bookings indicating there are already more than 65,000 rooms booked over the 10 days of the Santos Tour Down Under.
While the finishing touches are being put on the City of Adelaide Tour Village in Victoria Square/Tartanyangga, a massive logistical exercise is also underway at Hilton Adelaide, a Tour Down Under sponsor since 1999.
Teams from around the world have descended on Adelaide, filling the Hilton Adelaide and seeing staff working around the clock to accommodate the elite athletes and their support crews. The 15 Hilton hotel chefs prepare three meals each day, serving in excess of 15000 meals across the event.
The women’s race is the first race of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) WorldTour season, with the Women’s Ziptrak Stage 1 beginning at Hahndorf on Friday at 11.10am.
The race will honour Olympic cycling champion, Melissa Hoskins, who tragically died on December 30 with a minute’s silence ahead of the stage start.
Taking in 93km of the picturesque Adelaide Hills, the women will race through Echunga, Balhannah, Woodside and Lobethal with the finish line in Campbelltown.
As always, Adelaide has rolled out the welcome mat to the visiting international and local cyclists and the thousands of fans who line the stage routes.
The Santos Tour Down Under also offers a wide range of associated events, including participation rides for children and adults, street parties and free activity and entry to the City of Adelaide Tour Village.
The men’s curtain-raising ride, the Down Under Classic will have the City of Adelaide Tour Village as a backdrop, starting on Wakefield Street at 7.10pm on Saturday 13 January.
All eyes will be on Tanunda on Tuesday 16 January for the Men’s Ziptrak Stage 1 race.
New features in 2024 include RADL GRVL, a pilot gravel race organised by Valtteri Bottas, Formula 1 Driver and his partner Tiffany Cromwell, professional Adelaide cyclist.
Murray Bridge will host the start of the Hahn Stage 4, highlighting the Murray River and the region’s ongoing flood recovery, and Port Elliot will host its first ever finish on Stage 4.
Last year the race was shown in 190 international territories and reached 2.7 million Australians.
Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said it is exciting to welcome athletes, cycling fans and spectators to the 2024 Santos Tour Down Under.
"Major events like this put South Australia in the international spotlight and showcase our beautiful state to the world while boosting South Australian businesses," Minister Bettison said.
"Last year this world-class event injected $66.5 million into South Australia’s economy and created 776 full-time equivalent jobs.
"South Australia’s events calendar highlights the State Government’s commitment to drive visitation and support the visitor economy. We’ve begun the year with record-breaking international tennis and now we are excited to host this world-class cycling event before AFL Gather Round, LIV Golf, Tasting Australia and more still to come.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to join the cycling community in mourning the loss of Melissa Hoskins and extend my thoughts and sincere condolences to her family. Melissa’s contribution to the sport was immense."
Hilton Adelaide General Manager, David Wain said Hilton Adelaide is absolutely thrilled to once again be a key partner of the Santos Tour Down Under.
"We are extremely proud to continue our enduring partnership with the event since its inception in 1999. Embracing the title of the ‘home’ of the tour, we joyfully welcome riders and fans from around the globe, offering them a true home away from home during this spectacular event," Mr Wain said.
"This year promises to be the grandest and most exhilarating yet, with both men’s and women’s events converging under our roof. Anticipation is building, and we can hardly contain our enthusiasm for the annual takeover. This extraordinary event brilliantly showcases the beauty of our state to the world!"