The Tour Down Under will, once again, not be taking place in 2022 as Australia's border closure and quarantine rules continue to be enforced.
It will be instead replaced by the Santos Festival of Cycling, as happened at the start of this year, which saw cyclists who live in Australia compete in a short stage race that took on some of the usual Tour Down Under routes including Willunga Hill.
The last time the WorldTour Australian stage race took place was in 2020, a month before the Covid-19 pandemic began forcing national lockdowns, with then Trek-Segafredo riders Richie Porte winning the men's race and Ruth Winder taking the women's edition.
The one-day WorldTour race, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, is also cancelled because of the national restrictions in Australia.
Premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall said: "Adelaide in January is all about cycling and our cycling friends from all around Australia gathering here. Although international major events continue to be challenging, we will celebrate cycling in January 2022 in the best way we know how and welcome visitors to Adelaide once again to kick off the new year.
"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."
The Australian border is currently closed to anyone from outside of the nation with strict enforcement. People are only able to travel to Australia if they have been given a special exemption to do so or they are an Australian citizen.
Australia's quarantine rules state that people must isolate to stop the potential spread of Covid-19 for 14 days. Over 45,000 Australians are still unable to get home including Ineos Grenadiers' new signing, Lucas Plapp.
The 20-year-old recently said: "I can't find a flight, so at the moment I might be here [Europes] for the winter, but I would love to be able to get back to Australia, race the nationals and Tour Down Under again, which will just be a local event.
"With the Olympic build-up, it's been a while since I saw my family and friends, so it would be really nice to get home and see them over the Christmas period."
The Santos Festival of Cycling 2022 will be a nine day event likely over similar terrain as at the start of 2021 but it is unclear as to whether some of the riders racing in Europe will be joining the race.
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