Tour Down Under routes unveiled

2010 Tour Down Under winner Andre Greipel (Getty)

The 2011 Santos Tour Down Under race routes were unveiled today at the official launch of the UCI ProTour event.

Race Director Mike Turtur announced that the race will head east of the Murray River for the first time, with a stage from Tailem Bend to Mannum.

“Tailem Bend will host a start of the race for the very first time and the route will also include regular favourites with cycling fans including Old Willunga Hill and Stirling,” said Turtur.

“The race has grown to become a strong tourism event for South Australia and is firmly established on the world cycling calendar.

“The 2010 Santos Tour Down Under saw the strongest field of riders ever assembled for the race, and many have gone on to have a very successful racing season”.

World Champion Cadel Evans is currently leading the UCI’s individual world rankings, Lance Armstrong finished second in the Tour de Suisse and third in the Tour de Luxembourg and 2002 Santos Tour Down Under winner Michael Rogers won the Tour of California.

The launch of the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under race routes coincides with the start of the Tour de France, which begins on Saturday.

Thirty-seven riders that raced in Adelaide in January will be competing in the Tour de France.

The 2010 Santos Tour Down Under drew record crowds of over three quarters of a million people, attracted nearly 40,000 visitors from interstate and overseas and provided a $41.5 million boost to the State's economy.

“The 2010 event was also the most successful race on record in terms of participation, with more than 8,000 cyclists taking part in the Mutual Community Challenge Tour recreational ride,” said Mike Turtur.

“Registrations are now open for the 2011 Mutual Community Challenge Tour and four distance options have been created for the ride on 21 January to give even more people the chance to take part.”

Santos chief executive David Knox said the company was pleased to again be associated with the most important cycling event in the southern hemisphere.

“Last year’s Tour was the best ever, and I’m sure that in 2011 the Santos Tour Down Under will be even bigger and better again.

The calibre of athlete it attracts, the global coverage that it receives, its immense and growing popularity and the exceptional competence and energy with which it is executed are all hallmarks of its success,” said David Knox.

The 2011 Santos Tour Down Under will be held in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 16-23 January 2011.

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