• Amanda Spratt celebrates another Santos Women's Tour Down Under overall victory. (Getty)Source: Getty
It's approaching crunch time for the men's and women's Tour Down Under races, with a decision on whether the Australian WorldTour races will be held in 2021.
SBS Cycling Central

28 Oct 2020 - 3:50 AM 

The South Australian based race is close to making a decision as to whether it will be held in 2021. Questions about quarantine and international travel persist, with an international travel ban for foreign nationals into Australia, as well as a domestic travel ban from Victoria into South Australia still in effect.

The Tour Down Under organisers are trying to establish a way for international riders to make their way into the country, but current quarantine restrictions are strict and it would seem to be too tough to ensure that WorldTour professionals would be able to come out and train in the fashion of a normal Tour Down Under participation.

Events SA executive director Hitaf Rasheed spoke to the Adelaide Advertiser about the decision facing the race organisation.

"The Santos Tour Down Under is an important event for South Australia and it's for that reason that we are ensuring we take as much time as necessary to consider whether it's fully possible to deliver a safe and successful (event) for South Australia, our event partners, the UCI and the teams," said Rasheed.

With the Tour Down Under underwritten by the South Australian government, public health policies and public image all play into the decision to stage the summer cycling festival.

"There are a lot of moving parts in making a decision like this, said Rasheed. "There are many stakeholders, and we have been working closely with them to ensure we arrive at the best possible outcome for all concerned."

"We have also been considering alternate scenarios if we are unable to deliver the Santos Tour Down Under with UCI men's and women's races in January, including how to present cycling in some format in South Australia in January. We expect to be in a position to announce our decision within the next week."

There has been some thought in previous months that an Australian National Road Series race could be run in place of the UCI-sanctioned event, with the domestic competition sure to get a significant boost from the race being run even in the lesser COVID-restriction version of the January festival of cycling in Adelaide.