Podcast: Mike Turtur on wooing cycling stars and economics in 20 years of the Tour Down Under
As the 21st edition of the Tour Down Under comes to a close, race director Mike Turtur reveals amazing stories, successes and challenges from the global event.
The following interview was recorded ahead of the 20th edition of the Tour Down Under 2017. Mike Turtur is one of the most influential men in Australian cycling and universally respected by the most powerful people in the sport, particularly the world's top riders.
He says this respect helped him avoid failure in the early years of his race, the Tour Down Under.
Mike has been Race Director of the Tour since its inception in 1999 and now, during the 21st edition, It’s the biggest cycling event outside of Europe.
Mike reflects on the Tour's humble beginnings, early success and challenges, and the superstar riders, including Lance Armstrong.
Following revelations of doping, Mike admits he was wrong about Lance but has no regrets about the deal to bring him to South Australia - and gives a big whack to the critics. He says it put the Tour on the map and brought in a staggering economic return.
Mike talks about what it takes to pull off such a huge event, balancing sport, tourism and commercial KPIs, and the biggest threats to the race.
He also shares hilarious stories about the divas of world cycling, a night on the wines with legend Eddy Merckx and much more, including memories from his years as an Australian track cyclist, where he won both Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medals.
The Tour Down Under is on from 15 to 20 January 2019. Find out more.
PickStar produces Off-Field, the podcast that focuses on the world of sport outside of the arena with the people who make it happen. It's more than just a podcast. We host regular meet-up events and live interviews for people interested in the world of sport outside of the arena.
Hosted by James Begley and Andrew Montesi.
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