BIG THINGS GROW.
Today, with some justification, the Tour Down Under (TDU) promotes itself as ‘the biggest cycling race in the southern hemisphere’. Its status as the first non-European event to earn UCI World Tour status stripes, the quality and depth of the competing teams, the humongous crowds in Adelaide, the incredible atmosphere, and the sizeable income the event drives leaves it hard to counter this slogan.
The race’s distinctive slot in the cycling calendar is a draw, notably for the European riders. November, the glorious four-week window of binge drinking, Jägerbombs and burger stacks now a foggy memory. Lonely Christmas training camps, marked by evenings spent watching Breaking Bad boxsets and negotiating an intermittent Facetime connection endured. Southern Australia’s warm weather and the race’s short, intense schedule are ideal ingredients to reboot. And let’s face it, nobody wants to be in Europe in January.