June 4, 2013

Tour of Australia: stage 1

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With the Giro d’Italia now finished and the Tour de France just around the corner, it got David Blom and I thinking: what would an Australian Grand Tour look like?

We’ve put together a course for a three-week race that takes in some of the best roads in the country in an attempt to create cycling’s fourth Grand Tour: the Tour of Australia. We’ll be revealing one stage per day in the lead-up to the Tour de France. This is stage 1.

Route: Adelaide to Meningie
Distance: 180km
Climbing: 1,220m

Click here to see the route on RideWithGPS, including the KOM and sprint points.

Stage 1 of the Tour of Australia starts on North Terrace in central Adelaide, right near the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia. After clearing the neutral zone the riders head north east out of the city and out on to Gorge Road which runs alongside the River Torrens to Castambul.

At Castambul the route heads south onto Corkscrew Road and into the first categorised climb of the Tour, a 5km rise at 6% that includes the tough Corkscrew Road climb. This particular climb was featured in the 2013 Tour Down Under.

stage1

After descending through Ashton the peloton will head east and up the fourth category Basket Range climb before heading south east through Nairne out towards Murray Bridge. It’s on the main road through Murray Bridge that the first intermediate sprint for the Tour will be contested, 104km into the stage. From Murray Bridge the route swings south east towards Tailem Bend (home to the Big Olive) before heading south past Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert all the way to Meningie.

With some climbing to contend with on the way out of Adelaide the pure sprinters might find themselves falling off the back early in the stage. The early KOM points on Corkscrew Road and the Basket Range climb could lure the KOM jersey contenders into an early-Tour breakaway but given the last 80km of the stage are almost entirely flat, there’s plenty of time for the sprinters’ teams to get organised. All things considered, this stage is likely to finish in a bunch sprint.

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Stay posted for stage 2 of the Tour of Australia, coming tomorrow.

Previous stages:

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12 Comments

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  1. Hamish / Jun 8 2013

    It would’ve been more fun if you had the riders go south through Wellington and join the highway near there – there’s a ferry crossing on the river. That could split the bunch up a bit :-)

  2. John / Jun 4 2013

    Hmm, big risk finishing in the middle of nowhere for a Sunday stage. Will be interested where you guys can get to tomorrow or will you be setting up your own finish or a transfer??
    A great concept though and will be following closely especially where you guys take it in Victoria: Kinglake, Dandenong’s, Peninsula, Gippsland, Beach rd. And what major climbs will be ridden.

  3. Wayne / Jun 4 2013

    How long before someone rides the stage and makes it a strava segment? Only a matter of time.

  4. Andrew / Jun 4 2013

    Matt, already hooked on the concept after just 2 stages, so when do we start? Maybe Andy and the Hells 500 crew could take it on!

  5. Adam / Jun 4 2013

    Massive cross winds blow across from the Coorong down that way with no protection for the riders. The peleton would be absolutely splintered to bits from Tailem Bend to the finish!

    • Paul / Oct 18 2013

      AGREED! Wide-open and windy down by the lakes!

  6. Andy / Jun 4 2013

    ..damn, I knew I should have said chateau..

    • David / Jun 4 2013

      Lots of wineries (and chateus) in dem Adelaide Hills: http://www.adelaidehillswine.com.au
      Monty Python’s guide to the Australian Table Wines not included.

      For the Chateau hunters:
      http://www.chateaugardenique.com/

      And now there’s been a pile up in the peloton whilst we were flying over there. The crashes always seem to occur when they are flying over something else…

  7. Andy / Jun 4 2013

    David, any chalets for the commentary team to remark on?

  8. David / Jun 4 2013

    Highlights for the Chopper include the Big Rocking Horse at Gumeracha, the town of Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills and the Coorong (which was the setting for the 1977 film Storm Boy).

  9. Dan / Jun 4 2013

    Looks like a tough first up stage!

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