Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Corey Wingard, applauded the TDU team for pulling together another challenging race – set to deliver a world-class event this January.
“With the State Government commitment of equal prize money for the women and men, we will proudly continue to attract some of the best female cyclists from around the world to SA,” said Minister Wingard.
The 2020 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under will take riders through some of the most picturesque locations in the Adelaide Hills, with huge crowds anticipated as the popularity of the race grows.”
Kimberley Conte, Women’s Tour Race Director, who was tasked with the challenge of designing the course, says the 2020 route can be expected to be both animated and demanding with ‘opportunistic’ being the key word for next year’s event.
“As a general rule, I like to include roads that have historically been part of previous Tour Down Under stages as a ‘nod’ to the history of the event. Equally, I am always looking for new courses, different approaches to towns, sprints, climbs and other elements that can provide a new challenge to the race, and provide riders with the chance to match wits and strengths”.
Kimberley added that she is confident that the route will provide an impressive demonstration of the cyclists’ skills whilst showcasing South Australia. “All three road stages could potentially be won by an opportunistic rider – someone who is willing to attack at the right moment, to turn themselves inside out for the win,” says Kimberley.
“The routes have been designed to provide sprinters, climbers and all-rounders alike the chance to take stage honours. Whether they break away on technical descent into the finish of Stage 1, attack on Christmas Tree Ridge, 8kms from the finish on Stage 2, or take advantage of the twisting, shaded climb up Aldgate Valley Road to stay out of sight of the peloton – there is opportunity for a win”.
In keeping with the theme of focusing on regional community engagement, this year’s route will see several key South Australian regions with Stages featured in Mount Barker District Council, Murray Bridge, Adelaide Hills and surrounds, with first time starts occurring on the main streets of Hahndorf and Nairne (Stages 1 and 3 respectively) with Stage 2 commencing from Murray Bridge for the first time.
A total of 15 teams (including 11 international teams from around the world including Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States) saw a total of 96 riders from 23 different countries participate in the 2019 event.
Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Kevin Gallagher said Santos shares the SATC’s vision to continue to grow the Women’s Tour Down Under, which is now the opening professional women’s race on the international cycling calendar.
“It’s not just the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under that’s proving a huge success. From the Matildas to the AFLW, rugby sevens and WBBL, it’s brilliant to see women’s sport going from strength to strength in Australia,” Mr Gallagher said.
“In 2019 we hosted the inaugural Santos Women’s Tour Down Under Breakfast for all the riders and coaches on the Monday after their race, to celebrate their achievements and discuss the opportunities and challenges facing women on the pro-cycling tour.”
The 2020 Santos Tour Down Under will be held 16-26 January 2020 starting with Stage 1 of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under on Thursday 16 January.
The 2019 Santos Tour Down Under attracted a record 48,300 visitors from interstate and overseas who travelled specifically to South Australia for the event, generating an economic impact of $70.7M, creating the equivalent of 837 full time jobs.
2020 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under Race Routes Summary*
Thursday 16 January 2020: Stage 1: Hahndorf to Macclesfield (116.3km)
Friday 17 January 2020: Stage 2: Murray Bridge to Birdwood (114.5 km)
Saturday 18 January 2020: Stage 3: Nairne to Stirling (109.1 km)
Sunday 19 January 2020: Stage 4: Adelaide Flinders Street Circuit (42.5 km)
*Dates subject to final confirmation by the UCI Management Committee