The Santos Tour Down Under today had verbal agreement from BMC Racing Team and Cadel Evans to accept a wild card invitation to race in the 2010 event.
Premier Mike Rann says that it is a triumph for the event to get Australia’s Cadel Evans – who on September 27 in Mendrisio won the World Road Championships – to compete in the Santos Tour Down Under in his rainbow colours.
"Never before has an Australian competed on Australian soil wearing the Rainbow Jersey, so it’s a great coup for South Australia that Cadel will do so at the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under."
Premier Rann says that the Cadel Evans confirmation, coupled with the announcement in August that Lance Armstrong would return, ensures a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"This may be the only chance to ever see two legends, in Lance Armstrong and Cadel Evans, compete against one another on Australian soil."
Cadel was thrilled that his new BMC Racing Team has been invited to the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under.
"It’s a privilege to be able to present my new jersey and my new BMC Racing Team to the Australian public and the rest of the world at the Santos Tour Down Under in January," he says.
Negotiations are continuing between Professional Continental team BMC Racing Team and the Government to officially sign off on the acceptance and details of the wild card for the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under.
Cadel Evans earlier this week met with Santos Tour Down Under officials and indicated his desire to race at the UCI ProTour event should his new team be invited.
"Evans’ decision to race in the Santos Tour Down Under is another boost to the event which showcases South Australia to the world," Premier Rann says.
"More than 200 hours of television coverage was beamed across the world during the 2009 event, showing some of South Australia’s best food and wine regions.
"In this year’s Santos Tour Down Under, more than 760,500 spectators attended the race, injecting more than $39 million into South Australia’s economy.
"No doubt cycling fans will not miss the opportunity to see both Cadel Evans and his BMC Racing Team compete in the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under."
BMC Racing will be the third team to make its debut at the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under.
It has already been confirmed that newly formed teams, Team Radio Shack from the USA (which is led by Lance Armstrong) and Team Sky from the UK, have been given UCI ProTour Licences and will take to the road for the first time in Adelaide.
BMC Racing Team is the first wild card to be offered for the Santos Tour Down Under. UniSA – Australia, Australia’s national team, gain entry to the event through UCI rules, allowing one national team entry to each UCI ProTour event.
The number of teams to compete at the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under will be confirmed by early December, once the UCI have issued all ProTour licences.