• Emilie Miller. (Casey Gibson)Source: Casey Gibson
A host of Australia’s world champion paracyclists will become part of the Santos Festival of Cycling when they take to the city streets and race on Sunday 19 January ahead of the Schwalbe Classic.
SBS Cycling Central

Santos Tour Down Under
14 Oct 2019 - 2:13 PM  UPDATED 15 Oct 2019 - 3:07 PM

The new demonstration race, known as the Santos Tour Down Under Wheel Race follows hot on the wheels of the Australian paracycling teams success at this year’s World Tour, where the team claimed 18 world titles across the UCI Road and Track World Championships.

Dual reigning road world champions Carol Cooke (T2) and Emilie Miller (H1) plus 2019 road and track world champions Darren Hicks (C2), Emily Petricola (C4), Paige Greco (C3), Alistair Donohoe (C5) and David Nicholas (C3) are expected to take part.

The race will be held on the same day and on the same course as the final stage of the womens race and the men's pre-race 'classic', which will be held in a more central location in Adelaide than previous editions.

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South Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway said the team will bring their athleticism and skill to the streets of Adelaide ahead of their lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

“What a showstopper for fans to watch these world-class athletes in action. They will be racing on our streets just ahead of the Tokyo Paralympics, showcasing their strength, skill and endurance – providing a great opportunity to see what we can expect from the Paralympians next year.”

The Santos Tour Down Under seeks to broaden its cycling story to engage world-class athletes, professional cyclists and cycling enthusiasts and fans.

Minister Ridgway added “The Santos Tour Down Under is about elite sports for men and women – and bringing in new cycling disciplines will have great appeal to cycling fans as well as the fans of sport. This is elite athleticism, the best of the worlds very best, and exclusive to the Santos Tour Down Under”.

Nine-time world champion Carol Cooke said “It was an incredible experience participating at the recent UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, so it is extremely exciting to be included in the Santos Tour Down Under, an event that draws thousands of people from around the world to watch. It is wonderful to see paracycling viewed as another discipline of cycling and I know that we will give the crowds a good race!”

Dual 2019 world champion Darren Hicks said “The Yorkshire race was a real eye-opener for me. Getting to experience riding in front of big crowds was unreal!! The crazy part is that we wouldn't have even had probably a quarter of what the elite Worlds races had so to imagine that noise times four is just nuts!

“I really hope that the Aussie crowd brings an even bigger and better turn out at the Santos Tour Down Under so we can really start putting paracycling on the map and have more inclusion at bigger events.”

Hannah Macdougall, 2019 Team Australia member for road and track worlds, added “The 2019 Yorkshire International paracycling event was an excellent step forward for inclusion.

“Having paracyclists included in the 2019 UCI World Championships schedule highlighted why and how it is possible for us to progress our sport forward. “

“The Santos Tour Down Under will provide an excellent opportunity for us to continue the momentum from this year. The race will provide athletes with an opportunity to continue to hone their skills and fitness as they lead in for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.”