June 28, 2014

Tour of Australia 2014: stage 20

stage20

Inspired by the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana, the Tour of Australia is a fictional three-week Grand Tour route created by David Blom and Matt de Neef to showcase some of Australia’s best cycling roads. This is the second year of the race and today we reveal stage 20 of the 2014 edition.

Route: Longford to Mt. Wellington
Distance: 218km
Climbing: 3,680m

Click here to see the route and profile at Ride with GPS.
After three days spent on the roads of northern Tasmania, stage 20 of the Tour of Australia sees the riders cut a path south through the centre of the ‘Apple Isle’, bound for the state capital of Hobart.

From the stage start in Longford it’s roughly 30km south on Cressy Road and then west on Poatina Road before the road tilts upwards through Poatina. All told this first climb is about 16km at an average of 6.6% — a challenging climb that starts off easily and then finishes with 9km at about 8%.

From the summit of that climb, just near the shores of Great Lake after 47km, Poatina Road continues south over a short plateau before descending gradually to Highland Lakes Road after 74km. From there to the first intermediate sprint in Bothwell after 120km it’s generally downhill, albeit quite gently.

The race continues south after 139km, turning right on to the Midland Highway, and following that road to the final intermediate sprint in Bridgewater after 175km.

From Bridgewater the riders cross the River Derwent before continuing south east along Brooker Avenue right into the heart of Hobart. From there it’s right along Davey Street, on to Cascade Road then up to the stage finish atop Mt. Wellington.

It’s actually uphill all the way from the centre of Hobart to the top of Mt. Wellington but the climb is generally measured from just beyond the Cascade Brewery from which it’s 17.7km at 7%.

stage 20

Expect fireworks on stage 20. This is the last stage for the GC contenders to try and make up some time on each other and the final climb up Mt. Wellington is just about the perfect venue.

Having a long climb so close to the start of the stage could provide an interesting dynamic — it’s probably a good launch pad for the early breakaway (if one hasn’t gotten clear by that point already) but there’s too much road between it and the final climb for the GC contenders to take things too seriously up there. But you never know.

The run into Hobart is pretty flat so expect to see the teams of the GC contenders riding on the front of the peloton to reel in any escapees. And once they pass the Cascade Brewery to start that final climb, it will be a battle of the contenders for the race overall. Come the summit of Mt. Wellington a little under 45 minutes later, the 2014 Tour of Australia will be decided.

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4 Comments

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  1. David Blom / Jun 29 2014

    The Poatina climb is well used by the Tour of Tasmania. It’s really the only big mountain pass (1000m+ above sea level) that has a sealed road all the way along it in Tasmania. I felt it was good to partner with the Mt Wellington ascent.

    For scenery buffs, although the race doesn’t pass through it. The township of Ross is very pretty with the 3rd oldest bridge still in use in the country and it’s 4 main buildings straddling the main intersection.
    Temptation: the Man O’ Ross Hotel
    Recreation: Town Hall
    Salvation: Roman Catholic Church
    Damnation: Jail

    The great Lake and Arthurs Lake would be early race visuals. As would the Steppes Stones and the township of Bothwell. Several big mountains surround Hobart. Mt Dromedary, Mt Faulkner and of course Mt Wellington. The Cascade brewery and the Cadbury factory would be tour highlights and the latter is a great lead in location to witness the start of the final climb and the GC reckoning.

  2. Mike Tomalaris / Jun 28 2014

    Nice, but a Tour of Australia would not be complete without stages in Sydney or Canberra.

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