The Tour Down Under faces an uncertain future after 2016 the South Australia state government has said, after the UCI recently conducted a review into the future of the WorldTour race.
South Australia’s deal to host the race runs until after the 2016 edition, but the state’s sports minister, Leon Bignell received no assurances that cycling’s governing body would look to keep the race going, after Bignell recently met with president Brian Cookson.
“I met with the head of the UCI last week, Brian Cookson,” Bignell told ABC radio.
“There’s been a review underway for about two-and-a-half years into the international season and what that’s going to look like. Until that review’s finished next month, or the month after, no-one can give any guarantees to any race.”
Having run since 1999, officials are eager to keep the Tour Down Under going with approximately $50m dollars in revenue being generated from the race each year.
Liberal MP Michelle Lesink of the opposition called on the government to get confirmation on the future of the event, with a UCI decision not expected imminently.
“Given the minister had just met with the UCI president Brian Cookson in Switzerland, it is concerning he couldn’t guarantee the Tour Down Under will continue,” Lesink said.
If the Tour Down Under was to cease, it would be the second WorldTour event after the Tour of Beijing, to lose its status at the highest level of professional racing.