05 Jul 2017

20 reasons why the TDU is Australia's greatest cycling race

As if you need more excuses to join in on the best party ever.

1. The 20th edition in 2018

The 2018 Santos Tour Down Under is celebrating a huge milestone; 20 years of cycling greatness. Be there as the 2018 champion is crowned and history is made!

2. The first UCI WorldTour race of the season

The TDU is the first race of the prestigious UCI WorldTour season – and everyone wants to make their presence known. Expect some incredibly thrilling racing as the riders vie for points to set themselves up for the rest of the season.

3. The Santos Women's Tour

The Santos Tour Down Under isn't home to just one UCI sanctioned race, but two elite stage races in Adelaide and South Australia. See elite female cyclists battle it out over four days in the Santos Women’s Tour, from 13-16 January 2018. Elite international competitors will race alongside the best of the Australian women’s teams, in the heart of the city and also in the beautiful South Australian regions. The exciting race routes will be released in just a few short months – stay tuned!

4. 840,000 spectators along the route in 2017

The 2017 TDU saw 840,000 fans lining the streets and roads of South Australia for the race, with 43,000 cycling fans making the journey from interstate and overseas for the event. Mark the 2018 event in your diary now – let’s aim for one million spectators in 2018!

5. The iconic Ochre Jersey

The Santos Tour Down Under Ochre Leader’s Jersey is awarded to the rider with the fastest cumulative time at the end of the race – but this isn’t the only reason it’s special. The TDU is unique in having Ochre for the Leader’s Jersey, introduced in 2006, with the colour strongly associated with Australian culture and history. Read more about the winner categories here.

6. Get up close and personal with the stars

Forget the buses and the barricades you see in Europe: here, you can see your cycling heroes up close at the City of Adelaide Tour Village, watch team mechanics at work and grab those all-important autographs at the stage starts. Bring your camera – you’ll want photos.

7. The Challenge Tour

Enjoy a ride with mates? How about 6,000 of them? Go beyond just watching the race and really get into it with the Bupa Challenge Tour. Pull on the event jersey, secure your timing chip and set off on the same route as the pros, just hours before they storm down the tarmac in search of UCI WorldTour points. Find out more and book your ride in the Challenge Tour

8. Ride with the Jensie

Join a former champion of cycling and all-round great bloke Jens Voigt in the Shut Up Down Under team ride. Jump in the saddle, tell your legs to “shut up” and exchange some banter on those tough climbs – even Jens needs some encouragement on those hills! 

9. Drinks and dinner at the Hilton – the home of the TDU

The Hilton Adelaide Hotel is the Santos Tour Down Under’s official host hotel, and the home of the cyclists for the duration of the race. Enjoy lunch or dinner at Coal Cellar + Grill and head over to the Collins Bar for an aperitif while you people-watch; you’ll definitely spot a champion or two!

10. Council hosts with the most

Regional councils hosting race stages always put on an incredible party atmosphere. Whether at Jetty Road Glenelg, the Unley Gourmet Gala, festivities in the Barossa or coastal parties on the Fleurieu Peninsula, you’re definitely in for a good time.

11. Little legs are allowed on the big stage too

Little legs are always welcome at the Santos Tour Down Under. Get the kids involved in the mini tour for kids or the Family Ride. Share the excitement of riding the same road as the world’s best! You never know – you might have a champion-in-the-making in your family.

12. The Tour Village hub

Live and breathe cycling? Get yourself to the City of Adelaide Tour Village, pronto. You can test-ride the latest bikes, follow action on the big screen and refuel, not to mention catching the team presentation and free concert on Saturday 13 January to kick off a week’s worth of festival fun.

13. Enjoy dinner with legends of the sport

Paolo Bettini, Greg LeMond, Sir Chris Hoy, Eddy Merckx, Anna Meares, Cadel Evans and Peter Sagan: past and present cycling royalty, and previous guests of the Legends’ Night Dinner. Stay tuned to see who’ll be returning to Adelaide for a dinner in their honour; for our 20th year, it’s going to be big! Find out more and book tickets to the Legends Night Dinner here.

14. Fashion at the races

Bubbles, food and fashion await at Ladies Day on Tour. Walk through the start line, watch the racing kick off from a special viewing area and enjoy a lavish morning team and lunch feast, with some insights into the burgeoning Adelaide fashion scene, along with shopping tips and style secrets. Find out more and book your ticket here.

15. Long lunches in the Adelaide Hills and Barossa

You’re in South Australia – home of boutique, world-class food and wine – and it is time to indulge. Regional stages are the perfect excuse to relax over a long lunch before cheering on the riders as they cross the finish line.

16. Ride around the clock

Let’s make things interesting, shall we? Revolve24 is a new addition to the Santos Tour Down Under festival of cycling calendar in 2018; a team endurance challenge around the 7.77km undulating motorsport park, The Bend in Tailem Bend, along the Murray River. There are three challenges to choose from – 24 hours, 12 hours and 6 hours – and is the first event of its kind in Australia.

17. $56.5 million into the SA economy in 2017

As a tourism event, the Santos Tour Down Under creates huge opportunity for local businesses and the local economy to thrive. The 2017 TDU injected a massive $56.5 million into the state’s visitor economy and created the equivalent of 683 full-time jobs. Now that’s something to be proud of!

18. South Australian scenery – beaches and countryside in one stage

In just on stage of the Santos Tour Down Under, the riders could journey from the cosmopolitan suburbs to the rugged country, or from rolling vineyard-covered hills to sparkling white sandy beaches. Where else in the world would you get that kind of variety in one day?

19. Team presentations and free concert

Where else in Australia (or the world, for that matter) can you sit in the heart of the city, soaking up the summer sunshine and welcome the UCI WorldTour teams in their first race of the season? Hosted by Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, these ‘voices of cycling’ will chat to each team about their hopes for the upcoming race, and you’ll get to preview their new race jerseys and bike set-ups. Once the sun retreats beyond the horizon, stay on for a free concert to celebrate the start of one massive week – the act will be announced later in 2017, so stay tuned!

20. Community spirit on show

The Santos Best Dressed Town Competition is an invitation to all households, businesses, paddocks, schools and towns along the Santos Tour Down Under race route to get involved and ‘dress to impress’. Think yarn-bombed bicycles, hay-bale sculptures, hand-made posters and banners at the local schools – this is community spirit at its very finest. 


The Santos Tour Down Under is part of the UCI World Tour

UCI WorldTourUCI Women's WorldTour