Stuart O’Grady, the former Paris-Roubaix winner and Olympic track champion, is tapped to be named as new race director of Australia’s Santos Tour Down Under.
The local tourism minister is scheduled to make the announcement in Adelaide, and O’Grady, 46, is widely reportedly to have the job lined up. The Olympic champion and Paris-Roubaix winner will take over from race director Mike Turtur, who’s been running the event since the race’s founding in 1999.
O’Grady’s career spanned nearly two decades; he raced professionally from 1995 until 2013. In retirement, O’Grady launched a bike tour company that provided guided tours of the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, and the Tour de France, among other events.
The Australian admitted in 2013 that he used EPO during 1998. O’Grady’s confession came as part of a wave of controversy that rippled across professional cycling in the wake of the Lance Armstrong case with USADA and the Texan’s subsequent admission. Several other Australian riders also confessed using banned products during parts of their respective careers.
Under Turtur’s watch, the Tour Down Under has grown into a WorldTour staple, becoming Australia’s most important stage race as well as a popular season-opener for such riders as Peter Sagan and Geraint Thomas. Turtur confirmed last year that he would step down at the conclusion of this year’s 22nd edition of the race, set for January.
Among the confirmed starters are a host of Australian riders, including Richie Porte. Michael Matthews and Caleb Ewan, as well as the likes of Michal Kwiatkowski, Romain Bardet and Vincenzo Nibali.