• The 22nd Tour Down Under which took place in January 2020. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The 2020 edition of the Tour Down Under has officially been cancelled due to uncertainty around travel and quarantine requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SBS Cycling Central

2 Nov 2020 - 11:24 AM 

The race organisers cited these reasons as the major challenges standing in the way of bringing international cycling teams to South Australia.

Amid earlier speculation around the race, SA Health and SA Police are said to have been in contact with the organisers to try to reach a compromise that would have allowed riders to travel to the state to quarantine and train for the event, but could not come to a suitable agreement.

Tour Down Under 2021 edition in jeopardy
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.

Tour Down Under race director Stuart O'Grady said the prospect of the event going ahead this year was a little unrealistic but was optimistic about it's eventual return.

"Actually bringing a bunch of people from Europe to Australia is challenging at the moment," O'Grady said. ""Everybody's been doing a great job but to realistically bring 400 people from Europe into South Australia with the current restrictions in place with the quarantining — it's not a stadium event, cycling is out in the community, it's out in the regional areas — I just think it's a little bit too much to ask at the moment."

O'Grady confirmed there would still be a domestic event held in January 2021 to appease cycling fans.

"We'll have an event, we can get out and celebrate and kick off 2021." He said.

Events South Australia chief executive Hitaf Rasheed promised the return of the Tour Down Under in 2022, with the backing of the UCI.

"We assure everyone it will return to South Australia and the start of the UCI's world cycling calendars in January 2022, with the full support of the UCI," Rasheed said.  

It was also confirmed last night that the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Victoria had also been cancelled this year.