June 8, 2013

Tour of Australia: stage 5

feature-2
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’re currently revealing one stage per day in the lead-up to the Tour de France. This is stage 5. Enjoy!

Route: Peterborough to Torquay
Distance: 200km
Climbing: 1,920m

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

The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most popular tourist drives, and with good reason — the scenery is some of the country’s finest with the winding road hugging the coastline for several hundred kilometres along Australia’s south coast. With that in mind, what better place for a stage of the Tour of Australia?

Starting in the small town of Peterborough stage 5 takes the riders east through towns like Port Campbell, Apollo Bay, Lorne and Anglesea all the way to the finish of the 200km stage in the town of Torquay. There are many famous and popular tourist destinations and places worth visiting along the race route, and many that the broadcast helicopter will be able to capture for viewers back home.

Such sites include the limestone formations of The 12 Apostles, the Bay of Islands and Loch Ard Gorge near Port Campbell. Then there’s the Cape Otway Lightstation (“Australia’s most significant lighthouse”), the lush rainforest of the Otway Ranges and the amazing beaches all the way along the coast, including world-renowned surf beach Bells Beach.

The scenery might be stunning but that doesn’t mean the riding will be easy, with notorious winds and many climbs peppering the route. There are three sets of KOM points on offer on stage 5: at the top of the long but gentle 2nd category Lavers Hill climb (18.5km at 2.3%), at the top of the similarly gentle 3rd category Hordern Vale climb (10.9km at 2.6%) and the top of the 3km 4th category climb out of Anglesea (at 3.7%).

stage5

While these climbs aren’t particularly challenging they are likely to thwart the pure sprinters so the intermediate sprint points available in Lorne at the 153km mark are likely to go the way of a breakaway rider.

If the sprinters did somehow manage to make it over the three categorised climbs in touch with the main group, they’d need to have plenty in the legs for the painful uphill drag to the finish line in Torquay.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Stay posted for stage 6 of the Tour of Australia, coming tomorrow.

Previous stages:

 

More from The Climbing Cyclist

5 Comments

leave a comment
  1. the hack / Jun 11 2013

    Sensational stage, plenty of variety, great viewing. I would love to see a peleton flying down the hill leading into Marengo on the way to sprint polnts in the bay

  2. David / Jun 8 2013

    The best place to watch the race go by: The Pole House! http://www.greatoceanroad.vc/GORVC/Aires%20light%20pole%20house.jpg

    Apparently it is going to be demolished and replace by another house on the pole…

    • Michael / Jun 16 2013

      It’s being rebuilt as we speak. The concrete column hasn’t been touched, but the house itself has gone.

  3. Gary / Jun 8 2013

    Love the ideas for this stage, ride those hills and the are a good combo, would be the best TV coverage of all time with that coast

  4. Hamish / Jun 8 2013

    Good stage Matt. The averages on the two climbs are significantly reduced by the downhill and rolling sections – the Hordern Vale actually starts with about 1.5km of around 10%, and the main Lavers Hill climb starts pretty solidly too. And there’s another section of climb (followed by descent) before you even get to Lavers.

Leave a Comment