Meares returns for public race in Adelaide
9 January 2017
ROAD CYCLING: Rio 2016 flag bearer Anna Meares may have retired from professional riding but she will be back on the bike for a public ride through the Adelaide Hills in the Tour Down Under this month.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist will ride alongside thousands of cycling enthusiasts in the Bupa Challenge Tour on January 20, tackling the 58km stretch between Mount Pleasant and Campbelltown. The challenge is the SantosTour Down Under's annual mass-participation ride. It takes place on the morning of Stage 4, along the same route as the professional riders, just hours before the pros take to the road.
Meares, who has claimed 11 world championship titles between 2004 and 2015 and was the first Australian to win a medal at four consecutive Olympic Games, will also be honoured at the tour's Legends Night Dinner in Adelaide on January 21.
The Queensland native and Adelaide local said she is thrilled to be considered a "legend" but is still nervous about joining the challenging recreational ride.
"I will be ramping up my training for those climbs," she said in a statement.
"Having lived in Adelaide for 15 years, I know how incredible the atmosphere is on the streets during the TDU and it's an honour to be part of that."
Santos Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur said it would add to the experience of racegoers to have such an outstanding athlete in their midst.
"Anna is not only one of the most determined and powerful track cyclists in the world, but she is an absolute professional and is so gracious in her success," he said.