Armstrong ‘took the race to a whole new level’ between 2009 and 2011
Mike Turtur, who has been the Tour Down Under’s race director since its inception in 1999, said that Armstrong’s decision to take part in the race on three occasions, including having it as his final professional race in 2011, had provided a lasting legacy that the race was still enjoying.
“His presence, the returned benefits to the race and to this state and to awareness around cancer … money cannot buy,” Turtur told The Advertiser.
“The smallest increase that we saw was 100 per cent, it was staggering, and we are still benefiting from that legacy.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Leon Bignell, Australia’s Minister for Tourism and Minister for Sport, who said that Armstrong’s participation elevated the Tour Down Under’s profile to new levels, helping to reach people who would otherwise have not been interested in the event.
“Lance Armstrong’s appearance at the Santos Tour Down Under came at a time when he was considered the greatest cyclist in the world,” Bignell said.
“He brought the eyes of the world with him to South Australia when