Tour Down Under 2020: Murray Bridge, Mannum prepare to welcome 20,000 visitors for men's race

Friday is the day.

As many as 20,000 people will descend on Murray Bridge as the fourth stage of the men's Tour Down Under and the Challenge Tour will both finish on the city's main street.

Up to 2000 visitors attended a women's race stage start last Friday, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong tourism development manager Julie Bates said.

Combined, the cycling events would result in an extra $1.2 million worth of spending at local businesses.

"It really does have a serious impact, not just for the retailers right now, but also longer into the future as well," she said.

"It changes the perception, it gets people seeing how awesome our area actually is.

"Well done, community, for helping make it happen."

Murray Bridge Derailleurs' Dale Manson said the tour was doing wonders for the sport of cycling as well.

"Cycling in the town really has added to the fitness of the community," he said.

"It's all about preventative health, trying to save the government coffers later on by treating health issues such as heart complaints and overweight complaints; but also there's a mental health aspect to it.

"Some people are trapped at home - they're not allowed to have a car or can't afford it - but a bike is a lot cheaper.

"We're really keen to get as many people as possible on bikes."

The local club has staged community rides and two public seminars in recent weeks under the banner of the Murray Bridge Festival of Cycling.

Murraylands Multisports has also capitalised on recent interest with two race events for more committed riders.

Riders compete in stage one of the 2020 Tour Down Under. Photo: Chris Auld/Santos Tour Down Under.

Riders compete in stage one of the 2020 Tour Down Under. Photo: Chris Auld/Santos Tour Down Under.

It all showed that Murray Bridge was becoming a centre for outdoor recreation, council chief executive Michael Sedgman said.

"Murray Bridge is changing, and with the eyes of the world upon us this month, we're excited to show off some of our greatest assets," he said.

"If you're looking for a reason to visit, come down (on) Friday afternoon ... the atmosphere will be electric, and once the race is complete, people can head down to our riverside beach bar - part of the Murray River Splash festival - for entertainment and fun until late.

"We'd encourage visitors and support crew to book some accommodation and explore what we have to offer for the rest of the long weekend."

Likewise, Mannum would entice Tour Down Under visitors with a brunch at Mary Ann Reserve, kids' bike workshops and family fun before the start of the Challenge Tour, Mid Murray Mayor Dave Burgess said.

"We hope their taste of all we have to offer will encourage them to come back for a longer stay, and to spread the word about our district as an ideal holiday destination," he said.

The men's race is due to pass through Tungkillo at 1.18pm, Palmer at 1.47pm and Mannum at 2.06pm before reaching Murray Bridge around 3.08pm.