Santos TDU Preview: Stage 1, Port Adelaide to Lyndoch
15 Jan 18
By Matthew Agius
Above: The seven past winners of the Tour Down Under competing in 2018 [L-R] Cam Meyer, Simon Gerrans, Andre Greipel, Tom Slagter, race director Mike Turtur, Rohan Dennis, Richie Porte and Luis Leon Sanchez. [Pic: Tour Down Under / John Veage]
THE 20th Santos Tour Down Under gets underway in Port Adelaide – the site of the very first start way back in 1999, with an exciting field primed to take the Santos Ochre Jersey.
Stage Start: Port Adelaide, 11:00am
Stage Finish: Lyndoch, 2:41pm approx
Total Distance: 145km
Main townships visited: Port Adelaide, Birkenhead, Mawson Lakes, One Tree Hill, Humbug Scrub, Kersbrook, Williamstown, Lyndoch, Sandy Creek, Cockatoo Valley
Host Councils: City of Port Adelaide Enfield, The Barossa Council
Race Neutral: Yes
southaustralia.com Sprint: Williamstown Road, Cockatoo Valley (Sprint#1, 74.3km; #2 100.8km)
Subaru King of the Mountain: Kersbrook Road, Humbug Scrub, 38.6km (4% gradient, Cat 2)
Follow the race
Highlights of the stage will be available nightly on tourdownunder.com.au, plus Official Santos Tour Down Under accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Our favourite places to watch this stage
Port Adelaide town centre: Port Adelaide is home to many great things – a historic town centre, amazing old breweries and (depending on who you ask) the world’s best football club. The Tour hasn’t been to this part of Adelaide for 20 years, so it’s great to see it roll through the historic centre once again.
Mawson Lakes: There will be a nice spot to watch down on the corner of Main Street and Elder Smith Road where the peloton rockets down from the overpass.
Main North Road: Anyone living in the suburbs lining the route need only walk out their front doors to see the peloton soar through here.
Black Top Road: There’s a good little kick here as the gradient head sharply north. If you want to see those legs start working, anywhere from the bottom of the hill right up to the One Tree Hill township is perfect.
Humbug Scrub: The Subaru King of the Mountain will be first decided here. It’s great for this community to have the Tour run through here, and there will be plenty of support from here and Kersbrook.
Photo op - South Para Road Bridge: This bridge will give you a good photo op on a nice day, just don’t go near the peloton!
What happened last year?
Caleb Ewan and Mitchelton-SCOTT dominated the sprints, but it was Richie Porte and BMC that owned the general classification. The iconic shot of Porte climbing to the top of Willunga, in many ways, represented his personal climb to the jersey, having come so close in the past.
This year’s event has attracted a strong field of riders – none more famous than triple UCI Road Champion Peter Sagan, who won Sunday’s People’s Choice Classic.
Beyond that, Porte is joined by fellow Ochre-winners Simon Gerrans (four titles) and Rohan Dennis in a super-strong outfit. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Team Dimension Data), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Cam Meyer (Mitchelton-SCOTT) and André Greiepl (Lotto Soudal) are all former winners who could well be in the hunt again this year.
Sagan has come over to ride for teammates Jay McCarthy and Sam Bennett, but could feature at sprint finishes.
Climbers will relish the challenges of hill finishes on Bupa Stage 4 and Stage 5, while all-rounders will find themselves well suited across the stages.
There will be plenty of entertaining opportunities at locations throughout the stage. You can explore what's on here.
The Santos Tour Down Under's official stages commence on Tuesday 16 January at Port Adelaide and run for six days, concluding with Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6 in the City of Adelaide.
Santos Tour Down Under essentials...