Record croqds celebrate Santos Tour Down UnderRecord crowds lined the streets of Adelaide and regional South Australia for this year's Santos Tour Down Under.
Preliminary crowd figures reveal the eight-day event attracted 772,000 spectators, compared with 770,500 in 2010. Race Director Mike Turtur today announced the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under will take place in South Australia from 15 to 22 January, next year.
Mr Turtur says the event has been a huge success, for which all South Australians should be proud.
"It was an honour to welcome such a high calibre of cyclists to South Australia and to see the next generation of Australian superstars, including this year's winner, Cameron Meyer, in action," he said.
"I want to thank the thousands of spectators who embraced the event, many of them travelling from interstate and around the world to attend the Santos Tour Down Under.
"It was also wonderful Lance Armstrong chose the Santos Tour Down Under to be his last race on international soil." said Turtur. "While we are sorry that it was his last ride we are looking forward to welcoming him and his family back to South Australia in a different capacity."
This year's Škoda Breakaway Series, incorporating the Mutual Community Challenge Tour presented by The Advertiser and the Mutual Community mini tour for kids presented by UniSA, was also a huge success.
The Mutual Community Challenge Tour was a great opportunity for cycling fans to ride a stage of the Tour, from Norwood to Strathalbyn, just hours before the professionals. It was also an opportunity to raise money for the Cancer Council SA throughrideforareason.com.au.
Official figures reveal 7512 participants took part in the Mutual Community Challenge Tour last Friday, while 220 children entered into the Mutual Community mini tour for kids ahead of IG Markets Stage 6 on Sunday.
The Adelaide City Council Tour Village was a hub of activity during the Tour with thousands of cycling fans getting the chance to meet the stars of cycling and enjoy the new outdoor area and entertainment facilities.
The Tour was also a huge success for regional South Australia with councils organising a host of activities in the start and finish towns as part of the Santos Festival of Cycling.
The community spirit extended to other associated events, including the Santos Best Dressed Town Competition, with fierce competition between towns along the race route. Tailem Bend was named the overall winner of the competition.
Events South Australia General Manager Hitaf Rasheed says a record 20 councils have expressed interest in hosting a stage of next year's Santos Tour Down Under.
"This year's Tour has again been a huge success and work has already begun on the 2012 event and the exciting challenge of making it bigger and better again next year," she said.
The 2012 Santos Tour Down Under will be held in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 15-22 January 2012. For further information visit www.tourdownunder.com.au