Route: Longford to Mt. Wellington
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%.
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.
- Tour of Australia 2014: an introduction
- Stage 1: Gold Coast TTT
- Stage 2: Currumbin to Cape Byron
- Stage 3: Nimbin to Grafton
- Stage 4: Grafton to Inverell
- Stage 5: Tamworth to Siding Springs
- Stage 6: Dubbo to Mt. Panorama (Bathurst)
- Stage 7: Bathurst to Cootamundra
- Stage 8: Cootamundra to Tumbarumba
- Stage 9: Tumbarumba to Thredbo
- Stage 10: Khancoban to Mt. Beauty
- Stage 11: Mitta Mitta to Mt. Hotham
- Stage 12: Bright to Wangaratta
- Stage 13: Wangaratta to Mt. Buller
- Stage 14: Mansfield to Mt. Donna Buang
- Stage 15: Warburton to Arthurs Seat
- Stage 16: Mordialloc to Southbank (Melbourne)
- Stage 17: Devonport to Launceston
- Stage 18: Launceston to Bicheno
- Stage 19: Fingal to Ben Lomond