World's fastest women set for Adelaide as Santos WTDU route announced
22 Nov 17
By Matthew Agius
STAGES for the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under have been announced, with 2018’s event taking the world’s fastest females throughout the Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley.
Commencing on Thursday 11 January, the Santos WTDU will open the UCI racing calendar ahead of the men’s WorldTour event starting on Sunday 14.
Townships throughout the hills regions will be treated to three extra days of world-class racing, before the Women’s champion is crowned at the People’s Choice Classic on Sunday.
Upgraded to a UCI 2.1 category event for 2018 - just one level shy of WorldTour status - the four-day race will feature some of the world’s best female teams on South Australia’s roads.
In announcing the Santos WTDU stages on Wednesday, South Australian Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said gaining WorldTour status for the event is an ambition for the race into the future.
“It’s fantastic to kick off the year and the UCI International Calendar for 2018 with the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under,” he said.
“With the Women’s race now upgraded to a 2.1 classification, female riders from all over the world have even more reason to join us in January to improve their international ranking.
“The State Government is a huge supporter of women’s sport, from grassroots to the elite level, which is why we’re focusing on growing the Women’s Tour Down Under and working towards achieving WorldTour status for the race.”
Santos WTDU race director Kimberley Conte expects the race route announcement to attract high caliber riders in 2018.
“We are really excited about the course we have developed for the 2018 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under and know that it will deliver extremely competitive racing,” she said.
“The new dynamic race format featuring three road stages and a circuit presents a longer and more challenging race.
“The teams are looking forward to getting back to South Australia to take to the regions not only for pre-event training but world class racing.”
Stage One – Gumeracha to Gumeracha // Thursday 11 January
Riders will set out from Gumeracha on two loops of an Adelaide Hills based circuit of the local area. Riders will head east through Birdwood and Mount Pleasant before swinging south past Tungkillo before tackling the Cyanide Climb near Mount Torrens for Subaru Queen of the Mountain points. One through Mount Torrens, riders will continue to head south towards Woodside before turning back towards Gumeracha via Lobethal.
Sprint: Gumeracha Oval
Hydration: Torrens Valley Road, Birdwood
Subaru Queen of the Mountain: Cyanide Climb, Terlinga Road, Mount Torrens (11.1% gradient)
Total distance: 115.7km
Start: Gumeracha, 11.00am
Finish: Gumeracha, 2.22pm approx
Stage Two – Lyndoch to Mengler’s Hill // Friday 12 January
This complex route sees riders start off at Lyndoch, where they will complete two loops of a circuit connecting Lyndoch, Sandy Creek and Williamstown and incorporating a Subaru Queen of the Mountain opportunity at the Whispering Wall.
After the second loop, riders head up Barossa Valley Way towards Tanunda, where they will navigate through historic Seppeltsfield to Greenock and then complete another path back towards Tanunda and Bethany. The stage finishes with a Category 1 Queen of the Mountain hilltop finish at Mengler’s Hill.
Sprint: Murray Road (Greenock)
Hydration: Stonewell Road, Stonewell
Subaru Queen of the Mountain: Whispering Wall, Williamstown (9% gradient); Mengler’s Hill Road, Mengler’s Hill (14.4% gradient)
Total distance: 102km
Start: Lyndoch, 10.30am
Finish: Mengler’s Hill, 1.25pm approx.
Stage Three – Bend Motorsport Park to Hahndorf // Saturday 13 January
The longest stage of the Santos WTDU christens the new Bend Motorsport Park with a neutral start towards Tailem Bend and then onto Murray Bridge. The climb into the hills comes via Callington and Kanmantoo before riders sprint through Nairne on their way to the Hahndorf township. The race winds through Paechtown, Echunga and Biggs Flat before swinging back to finish with the last Subaru Queen of the Mountain climb at the Comet Mine Climb on Tischer Road.
Sprint: Old Princes Highway at Junction, Nairne
Hydration: Osteria Sanso, Kanmantoo
Subaru Queen of the Mountain: Comet Mine Climb, Tischer Road, Hahndorf (12.2% gradient)
Total distance: 122.4km
Start: The Bend Motorsport Park, 10.30am
Finish: Von Doussa Road, Hahndorf, 2.15pm approx.
Stage Four – Adelaide Parklands // Sunday 14 January
Heading to the People’s Choice Classic Circuit for a 20-lap finale on Sunday 14 January, the winner of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under will be crowned at about 6.20pm that night. This is a stage sprinters have waited for, and with four chances to earn bonus points this final stage, expect a battle!
Primes: Laps 4, 8, 12, 16 - Wakefield Road Start/Finish line
Total distance: 46km
Start: Wakefield Road, 5.20pm
Finish: Wakefield Road, 6.20pm
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