On Sunday 26 January thousands of cycling enthusiasts will line the route of the 2020 Santos Tour Down Under to cheer on their favourite riders and enjoy a family-friendly international sporting event.
This will be the 22nd consecutive year the City of Onkaparinga has hosted the major event since it came to Australia, and the second year it will hold the prestigious Be Safe Be Seen sixth and final stage.
Local cyclist Richard Maxwell is passionate about the sport, and has completed the tour’s 160– kilometre community challenge five times. To say he’s excited to have the tour on home turf is an understatement. Since moving to Port Willunga in 2009 he hasn’t missed a race. It’s a family tradition to watch the peloton roar along the foreshore past Snapper Point and then head to the top of Willunga Hill for the exuberant sprint finish.
Richard says he loves the event’s festive buzz and the unity it forges, and for Onkaparinga to host the final stage of the nation’s greatest cycling race is “absolutely brilliant”.
But this is only eclipsed by seeing his young children catch the bug. “They love cycling; they’ve been into it since the last tour,” he says. “And now we cycle together as a family, which is pretty cool.”
Also cool is the tour’s weekend program from 24 to 27 January.
Kicking off the festivities is Fridays After Five between 5pm and 9pm. This iconic community gathering draws hundreds of patrons to Aldinga’s Old Coach Road precinct for an evening of music, market stalls, food trucks, open air dining, and a wine bar.
On Saturday morning visit the Willunga Farmers Market (8am–noon) to gather delicious produce for your trackside picnic.
The race starts at 10.40am on Sunday in McLaren Vale. From here the riders traverse the region’s spectacular rural and coastal landscape before the final steep sprint to the top of Willunga Hill.
You won’t miss a moment of the action at three public venues offering big screen coverage, entertainment, food and beverage stalls, and a great family-friendly vibe:
- Party in the Park: 10am–2pm, Ellis Park, McLaren Vale
- Aldinga Bay Beach Market: 9am–3pm, Snapper Point
- Tour Willunga: 10am–4pm, Willunga township and the Old Courthouse, High Street.
The Vale Market is on Monday at the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre, featuring local produce and products, wine, art, craft, and live entertainment.
Stay and play by booking at the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre.
Visit tourdownunder.com.au for program details and festival news.
Celebrate Australia Day at the Bush Fair after watching the Santos Tour Down Under.
Riders take on the challenge - image courtesy of the South Australian Tourism Commission; Richard Maxwell is geared up for the race; Willunga Farmers Market.