O'Grady tipped to be Tour Down Under boss

Roger Vaughan
Stuart O'Grady is tipped to become the new race director for the Tour Down Under

Stuart O'Grady is expected to take over from Mike Turtur as Tour Down Under race director.

SA Tourism Minister David Ridgway will make the announcement in Adelaide on Tuesday morning and O'Grady is widely tipped to have landed one of Australian cycling's most prestige jobs.

But the appointment will come with controversy, given O'Grady's doping confession.

One of Australia's greatest cyclists said in 2013 that he used the banned blood booster EPO once, in 1998, but then was scared off doping by the scandals that rocked that year's Tour de France.

While there is no doubting O'Grady's credentials, his appointment as race director will be a public relations challenge for the biggest cycling race in Australia.

O'Grady's glittering racing career was capped in 2007 when he became the first Australian to win the Paris-Roubaix classic.

He also won two gold medals on the track at the 2004 Olympics and wore the yellow jersey as race leader at the Tour de France in '98 and 2001.

O'Grady remains a popular and well-connected figure in the sport.

There has been speculation for several years that the Adelaide native would eventually become the Tour race director.

Turtur confirmed immediately after this year's Tour that he would step down as race director after the 22nd edition next month.

The Tour was Turtur's brainchild and he has been its only race director since the Adelaide event started in 1999.