Looking forward to: The Santos Festival of Cycling

The Santos Festival of Cycling commences in Adelaide on January 19, showcasing local talent across six events. (Image source: Pixabay)

By Marco Krantis | @KrantisMarco

People left disappointed due to the cancellation of the Tour Down Under need not fear, with the Santos Festival of Cycling kicking off tomorrow January 19.

The event will prioritise local talent following international riders and teams unwilling to quarantine being the main reason for the Tour Down Under’s 2021 cancellation. Reports indicated that less than half of the usual travelling international teams and riders were willing to accept SA Health’s quarantine rules.

The festival, which spans five days, will showcase six different events.

The main showcase of the festival is the National Road Series. The National Road Series is a four-stage event for both the men and women, spanning from January 21-24.  The road series will kick off in Seppeltsfield with an 80.7km race to Tanunda for the women starting at 9am. The men’s road series will kick off later that day, also travelling from Seppeltsfield to Tanunda in a 106.8km race. Both the men and women’s races will be livestreamed on 7plus.

While showcasing the road series, the event offers a multitude of other cycling entertainment. One such is the Summer showdown held at the Cove BMX Club on January 24. BMX fans will bear witness to junior and amateur riders, before the Superclass riders gear up for a big hit out.

Other events include the Summer ‘Cross, the Santos Paracycling Wheelrace, the Adelaide Track League and the AMBC XCC Short Track.

Fans worried about the quality on show, due to international talent being scarce compared to other years, need not fear. Richie Porte, two-time tour down under champion, recently declared that he will be featuring in the Santos Festival of Cycling for Team Garmin-Australia.

Porte will be backed by Commonwealth Games gold medallists Kelland O’Brien, Alex Porter, Sam Welsford and Leigh Howard for Team Garmin-Australia, alongside other featured names.

Eventgoers will kick off their Santos Festival of Cycling in the Adelaide Track League tomorrow night, 6pm at the Adelaide Super-Drome.

At the time of writing, no major adjustments have been announced regarding the Santos Festival of Cycling. The event is planned to go ahead in a safe and socially distanced manner, following SA Health requirements and using COVID safe check-ins.

The Santos Festival of Cycling are set to release a list of alternative vantage points for fans, for all the races in the National road series, allowing the race to be viewed from different points while maintaining COVID safe measures.

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