Love life on two wheels? You need to be here.
The Santos Festival of Cycling is a bumper nine-day domestic cycling festival featuring road, track, paracycling, BMX, mountain biking, cyclocross and an exciting three-stage men’s and women’s National Road Series Race set to visit South Australia’s beautiful Barossa, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu regions. Throw in an action-packed day at the City of Adelaide Festival Village in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, group rides, live entertainment and touring events and we have got you covered! Here is your 9-day guide to the Santos Festival of Cycling.
Friday 21 January
The 2022 Santos Festival of Cycling kicks off on the Friday evening with a spectacular two-night program of spectator-friendly racing at the Adelaide Superdome. It will feature many of the riders who lit up the boards as part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games. The Adelaide Track League is a fast-paced track race where the best riders duke it out on the steeply banked wooden velodrome. Enjoy food, drinks, and high-energy music while the riders demonstrate their talent.
Saturday 22 January
Gravity Enduro is the fastest-growing mountain bike discipline, and it’s not hard to see why. Riding fast downhill, regrouping, comparing notes with your mates before cruising back up and then sending it down the next trail, it’s the perfect combination of exhilaration, fitness and a bit of banter. This event will be held in the crown jewel of Adelaide Hills Mountain Biking – the Fox Creek Bike Park. In the afternoon check out the BMX Racing National Cup, a series of rounds held throughout the year that count towards the overall BMX National Cup Series. One of the fastest and youngest cycling disciplines in Australia, view the young talent as they tackle jumps, tight bends and obstacles at the all-new Sam Willoughby International BMX Facility.
Sunday 23 January
Williamstown is the place to be on day two, as host to the first women’s race of the 2022 season. Starting the day, off the back of a successful campaign at the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games, we’re excited to have the Australian Paralympians for the Santos Para-Cycling Time Trial as they race to their first crowd since the Olympics. Hang around after the time trial and watch as the women fly through Williamstown for the Ziptrak Stage 1, the first day of the 2022 racing season and a curtain opener to Women’s cycling in the Southern Hemisphere. The picturesque 86.1km stage takes place in the Barossa region, with the women breaking away from Tanunda past vineyards and wineries. This is one for the sprinters, however the deceptively tough Whispering Wall climb will be the one to watch before they arrive at Williamstown, where you can join the community at their market day packed with pop up food stalls, local makers showcasing their craft and live entertainment.
Monday 24 January
In a historical first, the women will begin Westpac Stage 2 on the grounds of Penny’s Hill Wines in McLaren Vale, where you can visit the open cellar door or grab a bite from the selection of food trucks. The perfect vantage point, the race will begin with 3km of neutral riding around Willunga before sprinting past Penny’s Hill, just 8km into the stage. Enjoy watching the women climb through Kuitpo Forest or tackle the rough terrain. Want to get amongst the celebrations? Prospect Hill will come alive to cheer on the women as they tackle the 4km Flagtree Hill Climb – the one and only Queen of the Mountain climb in Westpac Stage 2. Stay and explore the Prospect Hill Museum and immerse yourself in the heritage items on display and revel as locals dress in period costume, before watching the peloton pass. There will be plenty of time to get to the Echunga finish line and be amongst the action as the community of Echunga cheer on the elite women cyclists as they charge through the town centre.
Tuesday 25 January
For the first time, the women will start and finish in Lobethal for the 86.9km Be Safe Be Seen final stage. Stage 3 is the longest stage of the race and will require both skill and concentration as it features two unpaved sections, two sprints, and a final challenging climb only 2 kilometres from the finish. This stage has the capacity to turn the General Classification upside down as it brings into play elements of uncertainty particularly with the inclusion of two gravel sections which can lead to punctures, falls, mechanicals and other misfortunes. Lobethal Bierhaus, Lobethal Bakery, The Woodside Hotel and Mount Torrens Hotel all make excellent vantage points for this Adelaide Hills race route but be sure to get to the finish line to preview a taste of WOMADelaide’s 2022 program, with a live performance from DJ Cazeaux O.S.L.O and Sokel.
Wednesday 26 January
On 26 January, Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga will transform into the City of Adelaide Festival Village where the cycling community and festival goers can unite. Enter for FREE and enjoy live entertainment, explore bike exhibitions and plenty of other events including “She Rides – You Can’t Ask That!’’, where you will hear from high performance coaches and athletes as they answer your questions and share funny and heart-warming stories of starting their bike riding journey. There will be plenty of family friendly entertainment including BMX Freestyle demonstrations, Kids Corner and Westpac Family Ride. Once the starter guns fire, you’ll have one hour to ride as many laps as you can before racing over the Santos Festival of Cycling finish line. Stick around for the Men’s and Women’s TREK Night Riders criteriums and enjoy watching some of Australia’s best elite domestic cyclists battle it out on a warm summers evening. Round out the day with a variety of food and beverage options and enjoy a vibrant line up of music including an evening performance.
Thursday 27 January
The Adelaide Hills plays host to the Ziptrak Men’s Stage 1 from Stirling to Lobethal. A fantastic opening stage where you can see riders get off to a speedy start as they work their way through some iconic Adelaide Hills roads before embarking on a fairly flat final loop around Lobethal. But look out, because even though it looks flat there’s a nice opportunity for an attack on a small steep climb not far out from the finish line in Lobethal, an excellent location to witness a sprint finish and watch some BMX Freestyle Demonstrations post-race.
Friday 28 January
In an exciting first for the race, Mt Lofty makes an appearance in the Westpac Men’s Stage 2. The riders will have a beautifully scenic start at the Mount Lofty Summit Carpark before attacking some of the best roads in the hills. The small climb “Quarry Road” will be the perfect launch pad for those riders looking to steal victory for an epic finale in Woodside. Some of the best vantage points include the Uraidla Hotel, Hahndorf Main Street and Onkaparinga Valley Road, where the peloton will pass five times before a sprint finish. Make your way to the finish line for a post-race performance from WOMADelaide 2022 artists the Shaolin Afronauts. Want to hop on the bike yourself? Ride Holiday’s and VeloAdelaide have group ride activities running over the festival period. If you prefer to view the race with a side of food and wine, gather friends and take part in the Adelaide Hills Detour presented by Seppeltsfield Road Distillers. Meeting in the CBD, you will be guided along the race route to the best vantage points of the day. Experience an exclusive briefing from Race Director Stuart O’Grady, enjoy lunch and private tour at Barristers Block and settle in for a seated wine tasting and sabrage experience at Sidewood Estate. If you prefer a faster pace, watch riders chase each other up steep climbs and down technical descents at the Festival of Cycling XCC. The return of Four-Cross to the Eagle Mountain Bike Park will see some of Australia’s best gravity enthusiasts racing with high energy and amongst a great atmosphere in a setting that overlooks metropolitan Adelaide and the coastline.
Saturday 29 January
After the enthralling battle on one the most iconic climbs in Santos Tour Down Under history, the epic Willunga Hill climb is back. Starting at the Main Road in McLaren Vale, the peloton will fly past hectares of vineyards and along the Aldinga Beach esplanade, for the final stage, before the epic finisher. Enjoy great views from Penny’s Hill Winery, Salopian Inn, Willunga Hills Farmers Market and of course Willunga Hill, where WOMADelaide 2022 artist, Nancy Bates will entertain and delight at the finish line. For the food and wine lovers, the Fleurieu plays host to the Detours presented by Seppeltsfield Road Distillers for the final day of racing. First stop is Penny’s Hill, to enjoy some wine and bocce as the peloton passes by. Lunch is at Our Place @ Willunga Hill for an Italian style long lunch served up by chef Andy Clappis where you can watch the race on the big screen before heading out to see the grand finish live.