11 Jan 2022
Outback roads

A WORLD-CLASS FESTIVAL OF FUN, FOOD, FIERCE COMPETITION, CYCLING AND THE BEST OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA ON SHOW.

A one-of-a-kind multi-discipline cycling race, the Santos Festival of Cycling sees Adelaide become a global stage for the world’s best cyclists each year. Athletes from across Australia will descend on our boutique capital and inevitably inspire a legion of visitors and locals eager to give the sport a try. Once a year locals, novices and fitness fanatics alike rescue their bikes from the depths of the garage, squeeze themselves into some form-fitting spandex and take to the impossibly pretty streets of Adelaide as part of our annual cycling fever. But it’s not only those on two wheels that get to enjoy the fun. The festival celebrates the best of South Australia with long lunches served up trackside and day trips following the race through the undulating Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale regions – home to award-winning, internationally renowned wine and culinary excellence.

The Festival of Cycling was born from the traditional Santos Tour Down Under, a UCI WorldTour men’s professional cycling race that hits the streets of Adelaide and regional South Australia each January. However, with COVID-19 making it more difficult to travel internationally, Adelaide is staging a domestic event this year with a more diverse calendar of attractions.

With so much to see and do in South Australia during the 2022 Santos Festival of Cycling, which takes place from 21 to 29 of January, it’s hard to know where to start. Don’t sweat, we have taken the peddling out of it with this comprehensive guide to the best events and activations happening throughout this year’s festival.

1. Men’s and Women’s Road Race

The Festival of Cycling passing Aldinga Beach
The Festival of Cycling passing Aldinga Beach

The men’s and women’s road races are the bread and butter of any cycling event. In 2022, the National Road Series race will form three exciting stages that see elite, professional cyclists sweat it out before some iconic backdrops – the race winding through the Barossa, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula. The prize? The Santos Leaders Jersey.

2. Detours presented by Seppeltsfield Road Distillers

The detours will visit the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale
The detours will visit the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale

This is for the spectators with a gourmet palate. Want to experience the adrenaline of the race and the region around you? The team behind Santos Festival of Cycling and one of South Australia’s most iconic wineries – Seppeltsfield – want to bring the best food, gin and wine from across South Australia to you with an itinerary dotted with tastings, vineyard tours, canapes, long luncheons and road race entertainment. In 2022 the detours will take punters through the Adelaide Hills, with stop-offs at Barristers Block and Sidewood Estate, and McLaren Vale – with stop-offs at Penny’s Hill and lunch at Our Place @ Willunga Hill.

3. City of Adelaide Festival Village

The City of Adelaide Festival Village
The City of Adelaide Festival Village

The heart of the city will come alive for a day of cycling action and family-friendly activities at the City of Adelaide Festival Village in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga. Come along on January 26 where the criterium race will fly through the city streets while live entertainment, BMX demonstrations and kids activities will feature. The best part? You can pay the village a visit for free! It will even feature a free Westpac Family Ride.

4. WOMAD 2022 Preview Performances

WOMADelaide is collaborating with the festival
WOMADelaide is collaborating with the festival

The Santos Festival of Cycling essentially kicks off the start of South Australia’s events calendar – and it is a jam-packed one. There is a reason we are known as the festival state! One of those events, that falls during South Australia’s beloved ‘mad March’ events season, is WOMADelaide. Get an early taster of their 2022 program at the festival village, where WOMAD artists The Shaolin Afronauts, Nancy Bates, Sokel and DJ Cazeaux O.S.L.O will perform a free show. Interested to know what other events South Australia plays host to? Check out our events calendar with all the latest dates and information about some of Australia’s most iconic festivals.

5. Paracycling

On-road paracycling event
On-road paracycling event

Staged in the beautiful Barossa, this is truly a one-of-a-kind event. South Australia is hosting for the first time a para-cycling time trial and on-road para-cycling event that will see our nation’s best paralympians flock to SA to compete. It will be the first time many of these Australian paralympains have raced before a crowd since their medal-winning performance at the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games.

6. BMX Racing National Cup

BMX Racing National Cup
BMX Racing National Cup

Cycling comes in all shapes and forms and one of the toughest ways to peddle two wheels is BMXing. Kicking off the 2022 BMX season, the Santos Festival of Cycling is playing host to the first two national rounds of the AusCycling BMX National Cup and will mark the opening of South Australia’s brand new BMX track at Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta.

7. Family Ride

Trek Night Riders
Trek Night Riders

It’s coming to the end of school holidays and you are running out of ways to keep the kids entertained. Enter the festival’s family ride! Join hundreds of other families as you circuit the Trek Night Riders track at the City of Adelaide Festival Village. Listen for the starting gun before launching off together for an hour – where you get a shot at riding as many laps as you can before the final bell rings. There will be prizes for best-dressed family, best-dressed individual and best-dressed bikes – so don’t hold back.

8. Adelaide Track League

Adelaide Track League
Adelaide Track League

After becoming a sell-out event at the 2021 festival, the Adelaide Track League is back with a two-night event. Catch some of the Tokyo 2020 Aussie Olympians in person with a sprint race that will see riders clock over 70 kilometres per hour around the Adelaide Superdome.

Keep the journey moving...

Swap from two wheels to four and explore South Australia by taking one of our six road trips. Shuck oysters caught fresh from the ocean lapping at your knees, dive beneath the surface at a pre-historic sinkhole or pack up your 4x4 for an outback adventure

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