Tour Down Under

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Maximus
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Tour Down Under

#1 Post by Maximus » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:18 pm

So, the TDU is done and dusted for another year, and I think we all agree that it's a great event and of great benefit to SA. This year's race was one of the closest and, arguably, most exciting ever. Cam Meyer's win on Stage 4 was the first successful breakaway since the race turned ProTour, and there were five different stage winners, which broke away from the trend in recent years of one or two sprinters generally monopolising the stage wins.

Of course, without the 'Lance factor', it's going to be a tough ask for Mike Turtur and co to make the race even bigger and better next year. But I came across this article the other day that's made me excited already about what the 2012 TDU might bring. For those interested in the TDU as a race, rather than as an event/spectacle, it makes for fascinating reading...
Turtur targets mountain maestros for TDU 2012
Val Migliaccio From: The Advertiser January 24, 2011 7:12pm

A SPRINTERS' paradise since 1999, the Tour Down Under is targeting cycling's hilltop hoods for 2012.

Race director Mike Turtur is set to dangle a pot of gold to the UCI World Tour teams' specialist climbers in an effort to tweak the dimensions of the coveted race.

Turtur said the organisation was close to sealing a hilltop stage finish which is set to challenge the peloton's climbing legs for the first time.

"We're really struggling in the small towns we've got now, some of the diversion points are just adequate at the moment and everything has to be perfect," he said.

"We need to put in corporate stands, we need TV outside broadcast areas, we need a teams diversion area, event parking and official parking so massive areas that need to be catered for."

But he wouldn't divulge possible locations until the deal was finalised.

Turtur said logistics had ruled out ideal hilltop locations including Mt Lofty.

While the 13th edition of the race was declared by Turtur as the most successful race on record due to the assembled sprint field being equalled only during the the Tour de France, race organisers are hoping to attract the mountain kings.

The Schleck brothers, Andy and Frank, and Australia's Matthew Lloyd and a host of expert climbers may well answer the Down Under call if their team bosses are convinced with the early-season hilltop finish.

"The Schlecks - I saw (Leopard Trek general manager) Brian Nygaard and he told me he was dead keen to get them out," Turtur said.

"It's about trying to convince the team owners for them to come here."

While the new finish is set to tweak the focus towards climbing specialists rather than just sprint guns, Turtur said he wouldn't put on a "Mickey Mouse" time trial just for the sake of it.

Not unless the event was guaranteed to meet stringent UCI standards.

"If we're going to do it, a team time trial or an individual time trial ... we're a World Tour event," Turtur said.

"We've got to get a time trial bike, discs, wheels, skin suits, otherwise it's Mickey Mouse unless we do it fair dinkum.

"I don't believe the riders are ready to come here and do an individual time trial and if we had a team time trial to open this race, maybe HTC- Highroad would be one to seven (in order).

"If that's the case, that's it (the race is ) all over red rover before the final stage."

Turtur also declared Mark Cavendish would be back to win stages in 2012.

The world's best sprinter's week on the bike turned into a nightmare.

Cavendish crashed during the prologue, was banged up again and required stitches before the Mannum finish last Wednesday and was forgotten by the official convoy at Stirling on Thursday.

Despite a tough week, Turtur said Cavendish was in good spirits when the pair had a heart-to-heart last night.

"He enjoyed his experience and he respects the race," Turtur said. "In his exact words he said: `I will win stages and I will be back'."
Good to hear that Cav has no hard feelings about the traffic stuff-up on Stage 3, but what I'm really interested in is where this possible hilltop stage finish might be. Arguably the best hills in SA are the main ones leading out of the city (i.e. Norton Summit, Greenhill Rd, Freeway to Mt Lofty, etc), but the problem with all those is that it would require closing some major suburban roads, and I'm not sure of the logistics of that. 'Live' racing doesn't usually happen in the suburbs, as the race is neutralised from suburban stage starts until the riders have reached less built-up areas. A hilltop finish could be possible at Willunga, but it's not a particularly long hill, and there's no nearby town at the top of the hill to host the stage finish (unless you extended onto Mt Compass, but that wouldn't really be a proper hilltop finish and I doubt the town is big enough to host a finish anyway).

Any ideas?
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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#2 Post by ghs » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:36 pm

Armstrong will be back next year in January for the opening of the Livestrong Cancer
research centre.

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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#3 Post by ricecrackers » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:43 pm

yes, the racing does interest me however the race itself often fails to excite despite the puffed up paid for comments by Liggett and Sherwin. it is still just a minor race.
last years climb up Willunga Hill was probably the highlight. that said, Willunga hill is probably a preferable place for a hilltop finish rather than mid stage. that would provide true excitement every year.

i'd like to see 2 hilltop finishes and the rest sprinters stages. the hilltops wouldnt necessary be for climbers, but allrounders could benefit. Would be good to attract riders such as Cancellara down under.

A time trial would be great too, perhaps in place of the Cancer Classic, but from all reports i dont think this will happen any time soon due to cost of transporting TT bikes.

this year they were promoting the field of sprinters, however that is of little use if those same sprinters are just using the event as training and have no form to provide serious racing - as was the case this year, it all fell a bit flat.
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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#4 Post by Maximus » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:05 pm

Well, it would seem there aren't too many keen followers around here of 'the sport of professional cycling' (as Phil and Paul would say). :)

For those who are interested, the following year's TDU race route is usually announced just before the start of the Tour De France (in early July).
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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#5 Post by Wayno » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:16 pm

i'm a keen follower. I think many people are, but we're novices - not really capable of designing a route nor commenting on the finer points of professional cycling. Maybe that's something that should be pushed a bit more - perhaps a short TV series on the topic prior to the TDU? I'm always up for an education :-). The more we know the better the race will become...
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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#6 Post by Maximus » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:32 pm

Wayno, I totally agree. And IMHO it's the main problem with both the TDU and cycling in Australia in general... Most people don't understand the sport of cycling. They like the colour and excitement and spectacle of the event, but they have no idea about and/or no interest in the race itself. Of course, the media doesn't help. Mainstream media reporting of cycling in Australia is absolutely woeful. We have this amazing crop of young Aussie cyclists coming through now - many of them with a great chance of winning the Tour De France in the next decade - yet the only time we hear about cycling on the news in when the TDU is on. Even AdelaideNow, which appears to be a great supporter of the event with its special in-depth TDU page, doesn't have a dedicated 'cycling' category on its general sports page! And, over here in Canberra, even people I ride with and who have a lot of knowledge about cycling, barely have any idea what the TDU is, let alone when it's on.

Sorry, that turned into a bit of a rant. :oops: But, yes, we need more cycling education. :)
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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#7 Post by Maximus » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:37 am

The route for the 2012 Challenge Tour (i.e. the Friday stage) has been announced. Looks tough! Anyone planning to ride?

Full route to be announced on 14 June.
Tour Down Under Challenge will include King of the Mountain rides

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sout ... 6066791353

* Thomas Conlin
* From: The Advertiser
* May 31, 2011 11:00PM

THE 2012 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour will take riders over two King of the Mountain climbs, including the gruelling Menglers Hill in the Barossa.

The 138km ride from Norwood to Tanunda on January 20 will give amateurs the opportunity to take on the same course that the UCI World Tour riders will tackle on stage four of next year's race.

Registrations opened yesterday for the 10th instalment of the Challenge Tour, which will be one of the most demanding yet, according to TDU race director Mike Turtur.

"It's going to be the toughest Challenge Tour that we have ever staged, bearing in mind that we've designed the course for the (professional) riders, not for the participants in this ride," he said.

"But that's why it's called a challenge. There will be two King of the Mountain passes, on Smith Hill just outside of Kersbrook and, of course, Menglers Hill which comes in the last portion of the stage."

The shorter courses begin from Gumeracha (102km) and Mt Pleasant (79km) or participants can ride the stage's final 33km circuit at Tanunda.

Last year's event attracted 7512 participants - nearly 30 per cent from interstate and overseas - after more than 8000 rode the course to Goolwa in 2008.

Tony Hooker, who has ridden in every Challenge Tour since the event's inception in 2003, said he was looking forward to the torturous test.

Even with the inclusion of the two King of the Mountain climbs, Mr Hooker said the ride was not too daunting.

"As long as you do the training it should be alright.

"It's not a race so you can just take your time," he said.

Special early-bird rates for next year's event apply for all entries before August 1, while final entries close on January 6, 2012.

Full details of the 2012 Tour Down Under stage routes will be released on June 14.
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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#8 Post by Wayno » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:40 am

glad they are introducing some variety to the TDU race. Menglers Hill is a beautiful spot as well, will help showcase the Barossa Valley to the world.
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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#9 Post by Maximus » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:15 pm

Agreed, Wayno. Variety is one thing (amongst many others) that will keep this event alive. Menglers Hill is certainly not new to the TDU, but the biggest difference is that it's placement is not normally so late in a stage (the summit will be only 22.6km from the finish line). This, combined with the downhill run into the finish, could be conducive to a successful breakaway.

http://www.tourdownunder.com.au/__data/ ... ge4_lr.pdf
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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#10 Post by Maximus » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:17 am

Full details of the race route have been announced:

Sunday, January 15 - Down Under Classic, Rymill Park, Adelaide (51km)
Monday, January 16 - Rest Day
Tuesday, January 17 - Stage 1 Prospect to Clare (149km)
Wednesday, January 18 - Stage 2 Lobethal to Stirling (148km)
Thursday, January 19 - Colemans Group Stage 3 Unley to Victor Harbor (134.5km)
Friday, January 20 - Bupa Stage 4 Norwood to Tanunda (130km)
Saturday, January 21 - Jayco Stage 5 McLaren Vale to Old Willunga Hill (151.5km)
Sunday, January 22 - Stage 6, Adelaide City Council Street Circuit - Elder Park, Adelaide (51km)

The race is getting tougher. Stages are, in general, slightly longer than in previous years, plus Stage 5 will finish on top of Willunga Hill, rather than continuing on with the usual 20km descent back into Willunga itself. Stage 2 has three laps of the Stirling circuit, rather than two, and (as previously discussed) the King of the Mountain climb in Stage 4 is very close to the finish. KOM climbs are, for the first time, categorised, with points awarded accordingly, so the KOM competition will take on an added element of complexity.

Mike Turtur obviously keen to try to shake the tag of it being "a sprinters' race" (even though I've always thought that was a bit of a misnomer -- there have been plenty of non-sprinters who have won the race, but I digress...). Only Stages 1, 3 and 6 look certain to end with a bunch sprint. The race will probably favour a more all-round style of rider.

Nice to see Clare Valley and Victor Harbor making a return to the route. Prospect and Lobethal hosting stage starts for the first time ever. Old Willunga Hill will be packed on the Saturday -- get there early!

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/sp ... 6074240419

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sout ... 6074235432

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/hil ... 6074469898

http://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/hillto ... 6074416587
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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#11 Post by Wayno » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:06 am

Fingers crossed that Cadel Evans participates in the 2012 TDU.

As Bill Lawrie would say, "He's a Victorian"

note: born in NT, raised in NSW, living in Victoria :-)
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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#12 Post by spiller » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:46 pm

really amped that prospect has secured a stage start for this!

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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#13 Post by Wayno » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:58 am

TDU license extended to 2015. Probably no Evans in 2012, but an ex-champ will certainly be a draw card.
Five time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx and his Belgian compatriot Patrick Sercu will be in Adelaide next year for the Tour Down Under, as the race is confirmed for another four years.

Their presence as special guests of the race is expected to be a huge drawcard for cycling fans who added a $43 million boost to South Australia's economy at this year's event.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has agreed to extend the Tour Down Under's World Tour licence until 2015.

The Australian race was the first non-European event to be added to the UCI ProTour in 2008.

It is now the opening race of the year on the World Tour.

UCI president Pat McQuaid said it was a particularly important time for cycling in Australia.

"The huge wave of popularity generated by Cadel Evans' historic win at the Tour de France this summer - after his World Championship triumph two years ago - has created an unprecedented momentum for our sport in Australia, which has contributed to the impressive growth of this event," he said in a statement.

SA Tourism Minister John Rau said cycling fans across Australia will have the chance to dine with Merckx and Sercu at the Legends Night Dinner.

Merckx, who has been labeled the greatest cyclist of all time, had a professional career spanning from 1965 to 1978 during which he won every major classic and one-day event in road cycling.
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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#14 Post by Maximus » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:52 pm

This really is a huge coup. Eddy Merckx is the Bradman of cycling -- even Lance Armstrong acknowledges him as the best of all time.

5 Tour de France victories (including one year when he won the yellow, green and polka-dot jerseys!), 5 Giro d'Italia (Tour of Italy) victories, and 1 Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain) victory (these are the three 3-week 'Grand Tours'). Holds the record for the most Tour de France stage wins (both overall and in a single race). 3 wins in Paris-Roubaix, 7 wins in Milan-San Remo and numerous other wins in all the other one-day 'classics'. Also won the World Championships 3 times. Kinda makes Armstrong look like an amateur. :)

Plus he's said he might also ride the TDU Challenge Tour on the Friday!
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Re: 2012 Tour Down Under

#15 Post by ghs » Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:42 pm

From http://www.eventawards.com.au/news/15/1 ... unced.html

Santos Tour Down Under sets the pace at 2011 Australian Event Awards

The 2011 Santos Tour Down Under, Mother’s Day Classic, the Sydney Festival and Australian Open are among Australia’s most exceptional events named at the 2011 Australian Event Awards in Sydney tonight (6 October 2011).

With all six states represented, the Australian Event Awards is a celebration of the thriving national events industry, from major sporting tournaments and arts festivals, to charity events and business conferences.

The glittering night attended by hundreds of industry specialists was staged at Allphones Arena (formerly ACER Arena), Sydney Olympic Park tonight with extraordinary performances by all four Entertainer of the Year finalists.

“From Australia’s expertise in major sporting events like the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under and the Australian Open, to arts festivals such as Tropfest, Melbourne Music and the Sydney Festival, the judges were enthralled by the excellence and diversity of Australia’s events arena,” said Johnny Allen, Foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Event management and co-chair of the judges.

“From more than 70 finalist entries across all categories, the judges made some tough decisions to select Australia’s most remarkable achievements in an industry brimming with creativity, innovation and professional talent. The 2011 winners showcase a great range of brilliant events including Tasmania’s Ten Days on an Island, the 35th International Trumpet Guild Conference, and outstanding individual successes, such as young achiever, Tara Whitfield and the world’s fastest portrait painter, Brad Blaze!”

After winning Best Tourism Event for the third consecutive year, Events South Australia took home the most prestigious award of the night, the 2011 Australian Event of the Year for the universally successful 2011 Santos Tour Down Under.

“The Santos Tour Down Under was again an incredible success, attracting thousands of people from across Australia and around the world to Adelaide last January. The incredible eight-day event has become a very important opening race on the UCI World Tour Programme, with world ranked cyclists, including Lance Armstrong, making the journey from abroad to compete on the spectacular route,” Johnny Allen said

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