The international cycling circuit kicks off the competitive season in 2014 with the Santos Tour Down Under. It brings to Adelaide professional cycling teams, comprised of some of the world's best cyclists, competing for important UCI WorldTour points and the prestigious Santos Ochre Leader's Jersey. The week-long event peddles its way around South Australia from Sunday, January 19th to Sunday, January 26th, 2014.
The Tour Down Under begins in North Adelaide and finishes in the city of Adelaide, but during the week it heads down south. On Friday, January 24th it's the BUPA Stage 4 Fleurieu Peninsula stretch of the competition, traveling through the hills from Unley to Victor Harbor. The SKODA King of the Mountain will be crowned on Reservoir Road, near the Myponga Reservoir and Lookout.
Then on Saturday, January 25th the Tour Down Under reaches Stage 5 with a race through McLaren Vale to the top of Willunga Hill from about 11 am until 3 pm. It travels along Main Road at McLaren Vale where there are many places to watch the race from and enjoy a bite to eat, such as The Artel Lounge Bar & Restaurant and Bracegirdle's at 190 Cafe.
In honour of the Pure Blonde Stage 5 leg of the Tour Down Under, the City of Onkaparinga is celebrating with a series of activities and events situated at various locations along the circuit and over the course of the weekend. If you want to be a part of the action, these are the places to be.
The celebrations begin in style with Love Velo Seaside at Port Willunga beach on Friday, January 24th at 6.30 pm. It's the first silver service-style event on a South Australian beach. For $59 per person, you'll be treated to three courses of regional food and wine, jazz music to set the mood, sand between your toes, and the sound of the sea lapping against the shore. Tickets are limited and can be booked through the City of Onkaparinga website.
There are a few free, family-friendly events happening in McLaren Vale on Saturday, January 25th. There's a Park Party in Ellis Park from 10 am until 3 pm with free children's activities, music performances, a Lions Club sausage sizzle, and live coverage of the race on a large screen set up especially for the occasion.
From 9 am until 3 pm at the Singing Gallery on Main Road there's a market with art, craft, food and wine, live music and a view of the race from the garden of the beautiful old church. For something different, from 9 am until 12 noon there's the meet your maker scarecrow display competition with food and drink stalls and a great view of Main Road from the Piazza della Valle at McLaren Vale.
Cheer on the cyclists and have some fun in the sun at the Beach Party at Snapper Point at Aldinga Beach. Sit back and relax with live music, children's activities, and food and drink stalls from 10.30 am until 3 pm.
At the Old Courthouse Grounds at Willunga the Peloton Picnic is on from 10 am until 4 pm. You'll be able to watch live coverage of the race on a giant television screen and enjoy live music, children's activities, and food and drink stalls. At the conclusion of the race, the winner's jersey will be presented at the podium near the finish line at Willunga Hill.
The Santos Tour Down under finishes on Sunday, January 26th with a circuit through the city. It's also Australia Day and a long weekend so the celebrations will continue into the evening with events happening in town and all around Adelaide, find out Where to Celebrate Australia Day in South Australia here.