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 Le Tour and this is stage 18.
Route: Scarborough to Loftus (ITT)
Click here to see the route on RideWithGPS, including the location of the intermediate time checks.
It’s been a long time between drinks for the time trial specialists with the last solo effort against the clock being the prologue 18 days earlier. The stage 18 time trial, which hugs the Tasman coast from Scarborough to Loftus, is the third-to-last stage of the Tour of Australia and, as such, will prove extremely decisive.
The 42km stage 18 ITT course certainly isn’t flat. In fact, a succession of climbs and descents means the riders have very little flat road to play with at all.
The toughest climb comes after 7.5km, starting with 1.3km at 9.8% before a further 2.4km at 3.2%. From the top of that rise there’s a lengthy descent which sees the riders pass through the first time check in Lilyvale after 16.4km. At the bottom of the hill after 22km there’s a 500m rise that averages 12% before a series of short rises takes the rider to the highest point of the course, and the second time check after 28.5km.
There’s another descent to the 34km mark at which point the road heads up for another 2.1km. From the top of that rise it’s all downhill to the finish at the Audley Boat Shed, aside from a short rise just after the rider crosses the Hacking River.
This is the sort of time trial that you’d expect one of the GC contenders to win: that is, a rider who is strong and powerful but who can also climb well. Think Alberto Contador or Chris Froome. A pure time trial specialist like Fabian Cancellara or Tony Martin might struggle with the climbs on this course — particularly the steeper rises.
Stay posted for stage 19 of the Tour of Australia — the penultimate stage — coming tomorrow.
- Prologue: North Adelaide ITT
- Stage 1: Adelaide to Meningie
- Stage 2: Kingston SE to Horsham
- Stage 3: Horsham to Mt. William
- Stage 4: Halls Gap to Mt. Leura
- Stage 5: Peterborough to Torquay
- Stage 6: Lara to Yarra Glen
- Stage 7: Yarra Glen to Mt. Donna Buang
- Stage 8: Warburton to Mt. Baw Baw
- Stage 9: Traralgon to Bairnsdale
- Stage 10: Bairnsdale to Omeo
- Stage 11: Omeo to Mt. Hotham
- Stage 12: Bright to Albury
- Stage 13: Corryong to Perisher
- Stage 14: Perisher to Tathra
- Stage 15: Bega to Canberra
- Stage 16: Canberra to Ulladulla
- Stage 17: Berry to Saddleback Mountain