The first Tour Down Adelaide rode its way through Adelaide in 1999, and since then it's become a staple event of the Adelaide summer, and an event with international acclaim. The race is now in it's 15th year, and it'll be a big one for the biggest cycling race in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Tour Down Under is the first event to kick off the UCI World Tour Calendar for the year. It's followed by events like the Tour de France and other races in Spain, Italy, Portugal, China, Poland, Germany, and more.
The racing starts with the People's Choice Classic, a closed circuit race held as a preview, and is followed by the 6 individual stages. Following the race is not just a great chance to see the cyclists, but also an opportunity to experience all of Adelaide.
You can check out the full racing calendar on the Tour Down Under website. You can also find maps of the Stage overview, and of each individual stage, helping you pick the best spot to watch the race. Cyclists will ride through Prospect, Mount Barker, Unley, Tanunda, McLaren Vale, and Adelaide City to name a few places along the routes.
Sunday 20 January – People's Choice Classic – Rymill Park, Adelaide (51km) Monday 21 January – Rest day Tuesday 22 January – Stage 1 – Prospect to Lobethal (135km) Wednesday 23 January – Stage 2 – Mt Barker to Rostrevor (116.5km) Thursday 24 January – Stage 3 – Unley to Stirling (139km) Friday 25 January – Bupa Stage 4 – Modbury to Tanunda (126.5km) Saturday 26 January – Jayco Stage 5 – McLaren Vale to Old Willunga Hill (151.5km) Sunday 27 January – Stage 6 – Elder Park, Adelaide (90km)
Of course the Tour Down Under isn't complete without a range of other festivities. Head to Victoria Square to check out the Adelaide City Council Tour Village, you can purchase merchandise, see interviews with race winners, test ride pro racing bikes, and maybe spark a new interest in racing.
The Legend's Night Dinner is a fancy way to celebrate the history of cycling, but each day of the Tour Down Under offers some way to get involved with the fun. You can check out all the events in the Santos Festival of Cycling on the Tour Down Under website.
So get ready to immerse yourself in the world of cycling, by watching the pros or by getting involved yourself through, the Bupa Challenge Tour, or the Bupa Mini Tour for Kids. Whether you're a cyclist, or just a cycling fan, the Tour Down Under is Adelaide's change to go bike mad.
Registrations for the Bupa Challenge Tour close on January 11th, and if you can raise $1000 for the Cancer Council by the January 18th your registration fee will be waived. If you're a keen cyclist, but are a little bit unsure about getting involved, check out the nutritional tips that will help you prepare.
The Tour Down Under officially runs from the 20th till the 27th of January 2013. Head to the Tour Down Under website to find out all the ways that you can get involved. If you can't make it down to the race in person you can still catch it on TV, to make sure you don't miss out on any of the action.