Feature sourced via @stuartogradycycling
South Australian Cycling and Olympic Champion, Stuart O’Grady has been announced as the new Race Director for the Santos Tour Down Under.
Stuart O’Grady’s appointment follows the announcement of inaugural Race Director Mike Turtur’s retirement at the end of the 2020 Santos Tour Down Under.
As a former professional cyclist, and winner of the first Santos Tour Down Under, O’Grady brings over 19 years of international professional cycling experience to the race, and a roll-call of racing wins throughout his cycling career.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway says, “Stuart is a proud South Australian, and an international professional cyclist who comes to this role with significant endorsements from the international cycling community. Having Stuart working closely with Mike Turtur this year will provide him with a strong platform and transition on which to build his own style of race for 2021.
“The appointment of a home-grown cycling legend ensures the Santos Tour Down Under will be passionately guided into its next era, after the extraordinary leadership of Mike Turtur for more than two decades.”
Stuart O’Grady says his appointment is a great challenge and opportunity.
“My appointment to this role really is the pinnacle in my career,” he says. “I have lived my life and career with the international cycling community, so this is a defining professional and personal moment for me.
“I’m excited that I will be delivering a race in my hometown, with one that I competed in, won and have watched grow its cycling participation and fan-base over the years.”
Stuart adds that it is a privilege to call himself Race Director of the Santos Tour Down Under from 2021.
“I am looking forward to developing my vision, and a creative race that will lead to the ongoing growth of the men’s competition and to the overall race itself.”
Stuart says that although they are big shoes to fill, he is looking forward to the challenge and is relishing the opportunity to create a new story for the Santos Tour Down Under through his directorship.
“Obviously Mike is a huge part of this race, the professional cycling community and the Santos Tour Down Under. He has a lot of learned knowledge that I will be hoping to capture during my time with him over the next few months” said Stuart.
Events South Australia Executive Director, Hitaf Rasheed says, “We ran a comprehensive process to ensure we got the right person for this important role and we believe Stuart is that person. We are excited about what he will bring to the role which has been filled so brilliantly by Mike Turtur over 22 years.”
Outgoing Race Director Mike Turtur says the appointment was an important one for the future, commenting, “We needed the right person, experience, fit, and someone who had an appetite to deliver a vision and really embrace the race with their own personality and someone ready to put their own stamp on it.”
Stuart will start work in December and will work closely with Mike over the coming months leading into the 2020 race. Mike will stay on in a mentoring role for 12 months through to the 2021 event.
Stay tuned for updates.