Amid the concerns around covid with border restrictions and quarantine, organisers have cancelled the 2022 Santos Tour Down Under for the second year. South Australia will now look forward to hosting the Santos Festival of Cycling which will take place on January 21-29.
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The 2022 Santos Tour Down Under has been scrapped due to Covid-19.
As foreshadowed by The Advertiser last week, organisers had been scrambling to save the event amid ongoing Covid restrictions creating uncertainty for interstate and international riders.
Organisers on Thursday announced the event would be cancelled for the second year running.
However, the Santos Festival of Cycling will go ahead next year, from January 21-29.
Events South Australia executive director Hitaf Rasheed said Covid-19 restrictions had prompted organisers to make the tough decision to cancel the 2022 Santos TDU.
“We have full explored all avenues, but unfortunately in the end it was the border closures and quarantine requirements for more than 400 people that make up the international teams that proved to still be too difficult to overcome,” she said.
Ms Rasheed said the replacement event – the Santos Festival of Cycling – would be a nine-day domestic cycling festival that would involve track, road, BMX, mountain biking, cyclocross and paracycling events across the state.
Ms Rasheed also spoke about planning for the 2022 Adelaide International Tennis Tournament.
“I think Tennis Australia are still working through what tennis will look like across the country and certainly in Adelaide – I know they’re having meetings with officials as we speak,” she said.
Race directors Stuart O’Grady and Kimberley Conte said they were excited to bring their plans for the Santos Festival of Cycling to life.
“The Santos Festival of Cycling is the perfect opportunity to not only showcase some of our best athletes but to tap into Australia’s enduring and growing passion for recreational cycling in all its forms,” they said.
Premier Steven Marshall said Adelaide in January was “all about cycling”.
“South Australia’s ability to host Covid-safe major events, including the Santos Festival of Cycling, brings substantial economic benefit and employment opportunities to the state, as well as showcasing stunning views of South Australia to the world,” he said.
Organisers expect the Santos TDU to return in 2023.
The 2020 event attracted 44,000 people, created 742 jobs and injected more than $66 million into the SA economy.