Santos Tour Down Under 2024
The 2024 Men’s Tour Down Under was a road cycling stage race that took place between 16th and the 21st January 2024 in and around Adelaide, South Australia.
It was the 24th edition of the Tour Down Under and the first race of the 2024 UCI World Tour.
The race was won by the British rider Stephen Williams of the Israel-Premier Tech, after taking the lead on the fifth stage of the race and held the race leader’s ochre jersey to the finish.
Williams’ winning margin over runner-up Johnathan Narvaez of the Ineos Grenadiers was nine seconds, and Team Bahrain Victorious’ Isaac Del Toro completed the podium, eleven seconds behind Narvaez and just twenty seconds in arrears of Williams.
Williams won the Final Stage (Stage 6) second on Stage 5 and third on Stage 2.
Simon Yates (GBR) from Team Jayco-Alula, thirty-three seconds down, with the great Caleb Ewan, not featuring in the GC Top Ten.
Isaac del Toro from UAE Team Emirates was the winner of the young rider classification, finishing third overall, while the team’s classification was won by Decathlon–AG2R La Mondiale
As the Tour Down Under is a UCI World Tour event, all 18 UCI ProTeams were invited automatically and obligated to send a squad.
UCI Pro Team Israel Premier Tech received a wildcard invitation and together with a selection of Australian riders forming the AusCycling squad, this formed the event’s 20-team peloton.
Overall a great start to the 2024 Season.
One of my great cycling hero’s is Rohan Dennis, who is an Australian former professional road racing cyclist.
He won back to back UCI men’s individual time trial world championships in 2018 and 2019.
On 31 December 2023, just prior to the start of the Santos Tour Down Under, Dennis was arrested and charged with causing death by dangerous driving, driving without due care, and endangering life.
He had allegedly fatally injured his wife Melissa Hoskins while driving a Ute in the Adelaide suburb of Medindie.
He was released on bail, and is due to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court in March 2024.
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2024:
The second of the first couple of the season’s races held in Australia is the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race, which is also known as Great Ocean Road Race or the Cadel Road Race.
This is an annual professional one-day road bicycle racing for both men and women starting and finishing in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, and routed along the picturesque Great Ocean Road.
The first race was held in 2015, as the farewell race for Cadel Evans – Australia’s only Tour de France winner and Road World Champion.
The 2017 edition was added to the UCI World Tour for the first time.
In November 2020, it was announced that the 2021 race would not be held due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.
This was due in part to a number of UCI WorldTour teams making the decision to stay in Europe, due to uncertainty around international travel conditions and the logistics of quarantine requirements.
The event returned in 2023, and the 2024 race was held on Sunday 28th January.
The men’s version is 176 km (109 mi), while the women’s is 143 km (89 mi).
Once again, the mass participation People’s Ride includes three distance options—35km, 50km, or 125km. (Saturday 26th January.)
The race starts on the Geelong waterfront in Victoria, and travels westward to the rolling hills of Moriac, turning south toward the famous surf beach of Bells Beach, following the surf coast to Torquay and through Cadel’s hometown of Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove, before heading north back to a Geelong circuit before finishing back around on the waterfront.
First across the finish line was Laurence Pithie from New Zealand (Team Groupama-FDJ) in a time of 4hrs 17min 40secs, with Natnael Tesfatsion, Eritrea, (Lidl-Trek) second; and completing the podium places Georg Zimmermann, Germany) (Intermarche-Wanty).
Thirteen teams entered the race, including ten of the eighteen UCI World Teams, one UCI ProTeam, and two UCI Continental teams.
A couple of good races which promises to be a great season of cycling after the interference of the last few years.