South Australia's Tour Down Under, the largest cycling event outside of Europe, has unveiled the stages for next year's race in January, travelling through some of the state's most scenic locations in a challenging ride.
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the stages and routes are designed to give sprinters, climbers and all-rounders a good chance at victory.
"Next year's race will see some old favourites return and some new locations added to keep the race fresh and interesting," he said.
• People’s Choice Classic (Adelaide) – 51 km - Sunday January 18
• Stage 1 – Tanunda to Campbelltown – 132.6 km - Tuesday January 20
• Stage 2 – Unley to Stirling – 150.5 km - Wednesday January 21
• Stage 3 – Norwood to Paracombe – 143.2 km - Thursday January 22
• Bupa Stage 4 – Glenelg to Mount Barker – 144.5 km - Friday January 23
• Stage 5 – McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill – 151.5 km – Saturday January 24
• Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6 – Adelaide (final route to be determined) – Sunday January 25
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has again awarded the Tour Down Under a WorldTour license for 2015 and 2016, making it the only WorldTour event in the Southern Hemisphere.
"The UCI will introduce its new calendar from 2017, and the State Government will be working closely with the UCI to ensure the Santos Tour Down Under remains the first event of the international cycling calendar," Minister Bignell said.
Race Director Mike Turtur said the race stages are very balanced but challenging, with riders needing to have a strong strategy across the event.
“Stage 1 from Tanunda to Campbelltown will see us get off to a spectacular start with no race neutral and racing starting straight out of the township. The new finish location in Campbelltown presents a very tough, uphill sprint which will demand perfect timing by the sprinters,” Mr Turtur said.
More than 750,000 people are expected to attend the event.
Banner photo courtesy of Chris Doherty via Flickr Creative Commons.