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Off and racing

Off and racing

Tanunda was the place to be for cycling enthusiasts of all ages yesterday.

Not only did the historic township play host to the spectacular stage one start of the Santos Tour Down Under with the peloton racing the breadth of the Barossa, it also marked the official opening of a new cycling hub – an investment of more than $600,000 toward promoting the region as a cycling tourism destination.

The facility, located next door to the Barossa Visitor Information Centre, was officially opened by Federal Member for Barker, Mr Tony Pasin and The Barossa Council Mayor, Mr Bob Sloane in front of an enthusiastic gathering that included members of the Tanunda CWA, who provided morning tea in their new-look rooms.

Mr Pasin said the Barossa Cycle Hub was designed to boost the region’s  increasing appeal to cyclists and is the first of its kind in regional South Australia.

“A growing number of tourists are visiting our region every year and more and more of them are doing so by bike,” said Mr Pasin.

“This is an example of how a small community can create new, world class facilities and how innovation and diversification can benefit the entire community.”

Following the official ribbon cutting ceremony, Mayor Bob Sloane was given the honour of firing the starting pisto to set the professional riders off in the international cycling event that followed.

After hearing the Australian National Anthem sung by Tanunda teen, Tahnee Koch, Mr Sloane experienced his first Tour Down Under as Mayor.

“It was great to be on the stage and seeing all the smiling, happy faces and the crowd that has come up here. There are a lot of tourists, a lot of people have come in for the day to have a look at what’s going on. It’s good for our town and it’s good for our community,” said Mayor Sloane.