A record number of event-specific visitors journeyed to South Australia for the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under, according to figures released by the Hon David Ridgeway MLC of the Australian government. Among those figures were those showing that this year’s Santos Tour Down Under – won by South African Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) – generated a reported AU$63.7 million in economic impact.
The 2018 Santos Tour Down Under commemorated the 20th edition of ‘Australia’s Greatest Cycling Race’, which was the first UCI WorldTour event in Australia and the nation’s only WorldTour stage race.
- During that time, 1,106 riders have covered over 16,024 kilometres, watched on the roadside by 10.5 million spectators.
- A potential audience of 1.087 billion have watched the race during its history, with 190 territories watching 882 hours of international broadcasting of the event.
“The 2018 Santos Tour Down Under saw 810,000 spectators lining the streets of Adelaide and surrounding regions and we’ve now ticked over 10 million spectators since the event began 20 years ago,” Minister Ridgeway said.
“We’ve got a great reputation for staging world class events and we look forward to welcoming TDU athletes and spectators from all over the world again in 2019.”
More than 27,500 items of media coverage with a potential reach of 558 million people were generated as part of this year’s event, which now features a UCI 2.1 Women’s race (won by Mitchelton-Scott’s Amanda Spratt in 2018), and a festival hub in the city centre known as the Tour Village which brings the public up close and personal with the pro peloton.
Events South Australia Executive Director Hitaf Rasheed said the race continues to draw a strong attendance from interstate and overseas visitors, as the opening event on the international cycling calendar. “Despite the enduring heat, the fans still came out to line the race routes and cheer on the world’s best riders with 46,000 visitors travelling from interstate and overseas just to attend the event,” Ms Rasheed said.
“The eyes of the world were on South Australia, and the State delivered a brilliant event showcased across 882 hours of international TV broadcast programming.”
Mike Turtur, who has been instrumental in the running of the event as Race Director since 1999, said the spread of winners from across the globe continued to highlight the international flavour the event brings to South Australia every year. Among the highlights were the return of triple UCI World Road Champion Peter Sagan and the race’s most-winning rider, André Greipel – both of whom won stages.
With sprint sensations Elia Viviani and Caleb Ewan, as well as fan favourite climber Richie Porte winning stages in this year’s race, fans were treated to an exciting and often unpredictable race.
“We were delighted to welcome back the rainbow jersey with UCI World Road Champion Peter Sagan taking to the start line alongside TDU champion Andre Greipel making his return to the race,” Turtur said.
“We could not have scripted a better result, with Greipel, Viviani, Sagan, Ewan and Porte all taking stage wins, Daryl Impey taking ochre overall meaning the competition on the bike was fierce and the party atmosphere around the race electric.”
Among other achievements of this year’s event, was research showing:
- An increase of interstate and overseas visitors to South Australia with the sole intention of seeing the Santos Tour Down Under
- An increase in visitor bed nights in Adelaide and regional South Australia by event-specific visitors (400,911, up from 296,997 in 2017)
- An economic impact of AU$63.7 million generated for the South Australian economy (up from AU$56.5 million in 2017)
- The Santos Tour Down Under provided 774 full-time equivalent jobs (up from 683 in 2017)
Dates for the 2019 Santos Tour Down Under were announced in May, with an 11-day Festival of Cycling to take place from 10-20 January next year. That festival incorporates the women’s race, from 10-12 January (dates to be ratified by the UCI), the People’s Choice Classic on the 13th, and the men’s race from 15-20 January.