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Tour Down Under News - 20 November 2008
 
By Staff
Date: 11/20/2008
Tour Down Under News - 20 November 2008
 

Tour Down Under News - 20 November 2008
Greipel Returns to Oz, Hincapie vs Armstrong, Australian National Team to ride, Travel and Tour advisory, Volunteer. Bike Ride to Find Cure for Diabetes.

Team Columbia Juggernaut led by 'Andre the Giant' top compete Down Under
Team Columbia’s Andre Greipel will return to the 2009 Tour Down Under to defend his title, bringing with him an experienced team. Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur is thrilled that the reigning champion will hit the streets of Adelaide in January to defend his crown. Greipel's most recent win was in September at the Championships of Flanders one-day race - taking his 2008 win total to a remarkable total of 14.

“In 2008 Andre Greipel had the best season of his career, all set on a solid foundation of victory at the 2008 Tour Down Under,” said Turtur. Andre Greipel went on to finish fifth overall in the UCI ProTour rider rankings this year. “Team Columbia is sending a very strong line-up to compete at the 2009 Tour Down Under,” said Turtur. “The inclusion of an experienced rider such as George Hincapie, who is such a reliable and solid competitor, will really add to our world-class cycling spectacle.”

Hincapie Vs. Armstrong
A thirteen-time Tour de France veteran, Hincapie was a former teammate of Lance Armstrong and played an important role in all of Lance’s seven Tour de France victories. “The Tour Down Under will be the first time that Hincapie and Armstrong will compete against each other on opposing teams,” said Mike Turtur.

2002 Tour Down Under winner Michael Rogers will make his return to the event for the first time since 2005.

Team Columbia Roster
The Team Columbia (formerly called Team Highroad) roster for the 2009 Tour Down Under will be led by Team Manager, Alan Peiper (AUS) and include riders: Andre Greipel (GER), George Hincapie (USA), Michael Rogers (AUS), Bernhard Eisel (AUT), Mark Renshaw (AUS), Greg Henderson (NZ) and Adam Hansen (AUS).

The 2009 Tour Down Under will be staged in South Australia from 18–25 January 2009. More rider and team announcements will be issued over the coming weeks.

Tour Down Under
UniSA (Australian Nationalo Team) to race Tour Down Under

Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith today (11/19/) announced that the UniSA – Australian National Team will compete in the 2009 Tour Down Under.

“We are delighted that the UniSA team, which will include some of the best Australian road cyclists, will again be competing at the Tour Down Under in January,” Dr Lomax-Smith says. The UniSA team attracts a huge local following and has raced in every Tour Down Under since 2001.”

UniSA- Australia was included in the 2008 Tour Down Under following a special permission being granted by the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) ProTour Council. In 2008 the Tour Down Under became the first event outside Europe to join the prestigious UCI ProTour calendar. This guaranteed that the world’s elite ProTour teams would compete at the event each year. Following requests from the South Australian Government, the UCI governing body amended its rules to allow the national team of a race organiser’s country to take part in UCI ProTour events.

"It is great news that the national team will again join the elite ProTour teams to battle it out for the Tour Down Under's prestigious ochre jersey,” Dr Lomax-Smith says.

The University of South Australia has been a sponsor of the Tour Down Under since 2001.
UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj says the inclusion of the Australian national team is great news for the team, the University and all the local spectators. “The Tour Down Under continues to be a great match for UniSA and we are extremely proud to continue to be part of this world-class event,” Professor Peter Høj says. “We are looking forward to continuing a long and rewarding relationship with the Tour Down Under through our sponsorship of the Australian national team.”

Team UniSA Supporters’ Club Captain Patrick Jonker says that riders in the UniSA national team have a fantastic opportunity to compete against the legend of cycling, Lance Armstrong. “Being a team mate of Lance’s in 2000 for the US Postal Service Pro Cycling team, I can say the riders chosen for the UniSA national team will be looking forward to riding with an absolute professional,” Mr Jonker says.

“It was a coup for the Tour Down Under organisers to secure Lance who will make his comeback to professional cycling by competing in the 2009 Tour Down Under.”

Details of all teams and riders competing in the 2009 Tour Down Under will be announced later this year.
The Tour Down Under will take place in South Australia from 18 – 25 January 2009, and is the first stop on the world cycling calendar.

Touring the Tour Down Under - Travel Advisory
Book now to travel in style around the regional stages of the Tour Down Under. Touring the Tour coaches will transport you, in air-conditioned comfort and with race commentary, to great viewing points along the route. Book all five stages for the discounted price of $350.

Cycling heroes of the future
Does your child have what it takes to be the next Stuart O'Grady? If so, the Mutual Community mini tour for kids is for them. The ride, on Sunday 18 January, gives kids aged 6 to 12 the chance to cycle a section of the Down Under Classic Circuit in Adelaide. Sign up now.

First USA tour operator joins the Tour Down Under
For the first time, a US tour operator has been accredited to provide holiday packages for American cycling fans to enjoy Australia's leading cycling event. Trek Travel, an American tour operator that specialises in cycling tours, joins the list of eight other tour operators to be accredited by the Tour Down Under for 2009.

Get ready for the Mutual Community Challenge Tour
EFM Healthclubs are offering Mutual Community Challenge Tour participants some free on-road training sessions leading up to January 2009.

Sessions run every second Sunday, from 21 September 2008. For more information or to book your place, contact Lauren at EFM at lauren.fagan@efm.net.au or 0402 219 850.

Sign up now to be a Tour Down Under volunteer
Are you interested in volunteering at the 2009 Tour Down Under? A wide variety of positions are available on the race. Register your interest.

Tour down Under
Bike Ride to Find Cure for Diabetes

Nearly 250 cyclists from all over Australia will converge on the Barossa Valley from the 16th - 18th January 2009 to participate in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Ride to Cure Diabetes. Now in its 6th year, the Ride raises money for much needed research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and its associated complications.

The event is open to individuals and teams, and participants can choose their distance - 35, 80 or 160 kilometres. To take part in the event, Riders must achieve a minimum fundraising target for JDRF. In return, the Riders receive a fantastic experience that few forget!  The JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes charity ride has proudly been associated with the Tour Down Under for over five years.

Mike Wilson, CEO of JDRF said, "We're working to find a cure so children and adults no longer have to endure multiple daily injections, blood glucose tests, life threatening ‘hypos' and the fear of developing serious complications."

"I would like to encourage everyone to support these riders by making a donation, or take up the challenge by registering for the Ride yourself!"  To register or for more information visit www.jdrf.org.au/ride or call JDRF on 1300 363 126.

For more information, race routes and results visit the official website at www.tourdownunder.com.au

Cycling Superstars line up for Legends' Night
Phil Ligget Hosts Shane Kelly & Lance Armstrong

Share dinner with international cycling legend Lance Armstrong and Australia's own Shane Kelly at the 2009 Tour Down Under in Adelaide. Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith today announced that Lance Armstrong will lead the line up of cycling superstars to take to the stage at the event's Legends' Night Dinner at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 24 January 2009.

"The Legends' Night Dinner is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the world's most famous cyclists," says Dr Lomax-Smith says. "Tickets are expected to sell out fast, so people need to get in quickly for this chance to dine with the stars of the cycling world."

One of the legends being celebrated is Lance Armstrong who will make his return to competitive cycling at the Tour Down Under. "A cancer survivor and champion cyclist, Lance Armstrong is the record-breaking seven-times winner of the Tour de France, winning the race between 1999-2005, before retiring from the sport in 2005. "No doubt cycling fans will take this unique opportunity to see the greatest ever cyclist competing in Australia."

Australia's own Shane Kelly OAM, will also be honoured for his cycling achievements.  Shane Kelly, who lives in Adelaide, has been a competitive cyclist since the age of five and recently competed in his fifth Olympic Games in Beijing. He has twice won the Australian Cyclist of the Year Award (1992, 1996) and was Athlete of the Year in 1995, and is a four-time world champion.

Dr Lomax-Smith is expecting that the 3,000 tickets for the Legends' Night Dinner will sell out quickly. "The Tour Down Under has become a prestigious and truly international event since its inception in 1999 and I'm sure cycling fans will be flocking to South Australia to watch the race and to also see these two legends of the sport take to the stage at the Legend's Night Dinner." Tickets to the Legends' Night Dinner cost $250 and can be purchased from the Tour Down Under website - www.tourdownunder.com.au

Phil Liggett, legendary cycling commentator, says there is no better opportunity in the Southern Hemisphere to attend such a stupendous chance to mingle and talk with the top riders of cycling.  "The Tour Down Under has raised the bar to unprecedented heights and the Legends' Night Dinner is the one chance we all have of relaxing and enjoying the company of the people who have made our sport so great."

The Tour Down Under is Australia's premier cycling event, running between January 18 and 25 and featuring new race routes across South Australia. Visitors have a great opportunity to observe the race close up from vantage points along the route, and to cycle a stage of the event by participating in the Mutual Community Challenge Tour. For all the details visit www.tourdownunder.com.au

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