Where: Australia When: 21/24 January 2021 Rank: UCI WorldTour (men’s) and UCI 2.Pro (women’s)
Richie Porte won the Tour Down Under in 2020 (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
Tour Down Under 2021 race info
The Tour Down Under does not returns for its 23rd edition and its 14th year as the curtain-raiser of the UCI WorldTour as it was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The WorldTour race has been replaced for an Australian riders only race in the Santos Festival of Cycling. The festival takes in similar stages to the main WorldTour event.
The women’s Tour Down Under was introduced in 2012, and thus celebrates its ninth edition in 2020. It’s ranked as a UCI 2.Pro.
Thanks to the men’s race being at the very start of the international cycling calendar, the Tour Down Under always enjoys considerable attention from cycling fans across the world, eager to see a bit of bike racing after a few fallow months.
Maybe as a result of those few months without cycling, but the racing always seems entertaining too, and although some parts of the peloton use it as a chance to cruise around and enjoy some good weather, at the front the racing is fierce as riders try to pick up crucial WorldTour points early in the year.
The Tour Down Under stages are generally flat or rolling, with sprinters picking up the majority of the stage wins, but the overall winner of the men’s event is generally decided with the annual summit finish on Willunga Hill.
The women’s race also makes heavy use of the Adelaide Hills, though the final stage and the Willunga Hill finish is swapped out in favour of a criterium.
With Australian riders having enjoyed months of training in the sun while riders from the northern hemisphere have been stuck on their turbo trainers, it’s no surprise that the Tour Down Under has traditionally been dominated by Antipodeans.
Australian riders have won the men’s Tour Down Under 12 times, and the women’s four times. Simon Gerrans holds the record for the most overall wins with four of the men’s race, and Amanda Spratt has three wins of the women’s in its short existence.