By Nigel Wynn
The 2018 Tour Down Under, staged in South Australia in January, generated a record amount of revenue and attracted over 800,000 spectators and visitors.
The 2018 edition of the six-stage race has been hailed a great success by both the race's organiser and the local South Australia government.
“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,” said Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister David Ridgeway.
It is estimated that the event had a positive Aus$63.7 million economic impact on the area, significantly up on the previous year's $56.5m.
In addition to those who turned up to watch the race in person, the 2018 Tour Down Under generated 27,500 items of media coverage which had a potential audience of 558 million people worldwide.
The 2018 edition of the race was won by South African Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott). Road race world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was one of the big names to attend the race alongside fellow world-class sprinters André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) and Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott).
Race director Mike Turtur commented: "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 [Richie] 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.”
The 2019 edition of the men's and women's Tour Down Under will be part of an 11-day cycling festival over January 10-20.
Provisionally, the 2019 women's TDU takes place from January 10-12, the men's over January 15-20 and the single-day People's Choice Classic criterium on January 13.
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