Tour Down Under 2023: Route, stages, and startlist guide

Taking a look at all the stages for both the men's and women's Australian race

Luke Plapp
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Key Information

Where: Adelaide, South Australia

When: 14 January (Schwalbe Classic men's and women's)

Women's TDU, 15-17 January
Men's TDU, 17-22 January

Rank: UCI WorldTour (men's and women's)

Distance: 672 kilometres (men's) 293 kilometres (women's)

Returning to the WorldTour after a two-year absence, the Tour Down Under lifts the curtain on the WorldTour season once more. Multiple big name riders in both the men’s and women’s peloton will be heading to Australia for the stage-race including the recently crowned Australian national road champion Luke Plapp (Ineos Grenadiers) and Grace Brown (FDJ Suez). 

Both the men’s and women’s action will begin with the Schwalbe Classic, an evening criterium on Saturday 14 January. However the criterium will have no say in the overall general classification battle. 

The men’s race will get underway on Tuesday 17 January with a 5.5 kilometre prologue, whereas the women’s race will begin the day after the criterium on Sunday 15 January with a flat 110.4 kilometre stage between Glenelg and Aldinga. 

Men's Tour Down Under: Stages, 17-22 January

Luke Plapp

Luke Plapp will be flying the flag for Australia at this years race

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The route for the 2023 men's Tour Down Under has something for everyone. There will be plenty of action in the depths of the Adelaide hills as well as other fast and furious sprint stages which should make for an excellent opener to the WorldTour season.

Bringing the race back without its famous Willunga Hill climb was always going to be a brave decision, although race director Stuart O'Grady explained when presenting the 2023 route that he believes it was important to bring some "fresh faces" into the Australian stage race. 

"I think it's important to bring some new, fresh places into the Tour Down Under,” O'Grady said.

"I was brought in to bring in some new innovations, some new exciting parcours and also didn't want just the same old kind of stages where everybody knows exactly what's going to happen. The new final stage brings in a lot of excitement. It's a short stage, it's aggressive, it's more central to Adelaide, so I'm guessing more and more people will get there.”

Prologue: Adelaide - Adelaide, 5.5 km

The evening prologue on Tuesday 17 January follows a 5.5 kilometre course through the Adelaide Parks and past the Adelaide Oval cricket ground in what promises to be a fast and furious affair.

Unusually, the riders will have to use their road race bikes due to logistical issues with bringing all of their equipment over to Australia for the race.

It's also the first time a prologue has been incorporated into the race, with race organisers clearly hoping that Rohan Dennis (Jumbo-Visma), home favourite and time trial expert, can pull off the win and the early race lead.

Stage One: Tanunda - Tanunda, 149.9 km, Hilly

The first road stage of the 2023 men's race covers a 149.9 kilometre circuit around the city of Tanunda and and the Barossa wine area.

It also features four smaller circuits which involve the Menglers Hill climb, making for a total of 2,050 metres of elevation gain. Menglers Hill isn't so challenging that the best sprinters in the world won't get over it, meaning that the likes of Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Dstny) could still be in contention towards the stage finale. 

Otherwise, a rider of the likes of Plapp could look to use the final climb with just 10 kilometres to go as a launch pad for a solo move to the finish. 

Stage Two: Brighton - Victor Harbour, 154.8 km, Hilly

The longest stage of this year's edition, stage two from Brighton to Victor Harbour is all about the coast. Riders will get to enjoy the spectacular coastline for the first portion of the route before things ramp up in the stage climax. 

The final 60 kilometres involve two challenging, categorised ascents although the flat run in could also mean a day for the sprinters once more.

In 2020, Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech) grabbed the victory. Ewan will be another name to watch or a rider like EF Education-EasyPost's Alberto Bettiol. The Italian can more than hold his own on short, punchy climbs and packs a devilish fast finish.

Stage Three: Norwood - Campbell Town, 116.8 km, Hilly

Stage three to Campbelltown is short but will pack a mean punch with three of Adelaide's toughest hills roped into the equation.

Norton Summit, Checkers Hill and Corkscrew Road are all on the menu, providing plenty of staging posts for the high profile overall contenders to make their moves. Corkscrew Road features challenging pitches of 6.8% average gradient, with one section ramping up to more than 9%.

Perhaps homegrown hero and Giro d'Italia winner Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) will look to test his early season form on the hills of Adelaide.  

Stage Four: Port Willunga - Willunga Township, 133.2 km, Flat

Normally on a stage in and around Willunga, you would expect the infamous Willunga Hill to feature somewhere in the route but this year's race misses out the legendary climb.

Stage four gets underway overlooking the beach and ends in Willunga Township after 133 kilometres of mainly rolling, undulating roads. Stage four is definitely a day for the sprinters once more before the race reaches its finale on Mount Lofty the day after. 

Stage Five: Unley - Mount Lofty, 122.5 km, Hilly

Stage five to Mount Lofty will make for a spectacular finish to the 2023 edition of the race.

The stage is just 112.5 kilometres long but features five ascents of Mount Lofty, which is almost certainly going to provide drama on the races final day in the heart of the Adelaide Hills.

All four ascents of the devilish climb will make for more than 3,000 metres of climbing. The whole climb is 2.6 kilometres long with an average gradient of 7%. At two and then one kilometre to go there are two much more severe, steeper sections which is where the GC favourites will be expected to attack.

Many talented climbers feature on the expected start list which should make for a thrilling and aggressive stage five to end the race. 

WOMEN'S TOUR DOWN UNDER: STAGES, 15-17 JANUARY

Grace Brown

FDJ-Suez's Grace Brown will be a strong favourite for the women's race

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stage One: Glenelg - Aldinga, 110.4 km, Flat

The opening day of the women's race is a relatively flat affair along the South Australian coastline. 

With just one categorised climb on the menu, the category four Chaffey's climb, it promises to be a fast run into the finish which could provide an opportunity for the likes of Grace Brown (FDJ-Suez) to start as they mean to go on, with an opening day stage victory. 

Stage Two: Birdwood to Uraidla, 90 km, Hilly 

Stage two will be a punchy affair through the Adelaide hills, a reverse of the route taken in stage five of the men's race.

The women will ascend the back of the Mount Lofty climb which is certainly set to cause some major splits in the bunch. 

If after day one Brown has taken an early lead in the GC, she will have to be well on her guard to prevent climbing experts like Brodie Chapman (Trek-Segafredo) from wrestling the overall lead from her grasp. 

Stage Three: Adelaide - Campbelltown, 93.2 km, Hilly

The grand finale for this year's women's Tour Down Under will be one for the climbers with more than 1,500 metres of elevation on offer. 

Corkscrew Road - one of the toughest climbs in the Adelaide hills - will play a starring role on the races final day and will more than likely cause some major splits. 

With sections of up to 24.4% gradients, the Corkscrew will provide a menacing test and potentially the perfect setting for the overall leader to launch an attack, and claim a final day stage win to cement their advantage. 

MEN'S START LIST

 Jayco-AIUla

Michael Matthews  (AUS)
Simon Yates (GBR)
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Lucas Hamilton (AUS)
Michael Hepburn (AUS)
Chris Harper (AUS)
Campbell Stewart (NZA)

AG2R-Citroën

Ben O'Connor (AUS)
Alex Baudin (FRA)
Dorian Godon (FRA)
Paul Lapeira (FRA)
Nans Peters (FRA)
Michael Schar (SWI)
Damian Touze (FRA)

Arkéa-Samsic

Ewen Costiou (FRA)
Mathis Le Berre (FRA)
Elie Gesbert (FRA)
Hugo Hofstetter (FRA)
Kevin Ledanois (FRA)
Łukasz Owsian (POL)
Alessandro Verre (ITA

Astana Qazaqstan

Luis Leon Sanchez (SPA)
Manuele Boaro (ITA)
Leonardo Basso (ITA)
Fabio Felline (ITA)
Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ)
Martin Laas (EST)
Gianni Moscon (ITA)

Bahrain-Victorious

Pello Bilbao (SPA)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Kamil Gradek (POL)
Hermann Pernsteiner (AU)
Cameron Scott (AUS)
Jasha Sutterlin (GER)

Trek-Segafredo

Tony Gallopin (FRA)
Filippo Baroncini (ITA)
Marc Brustenga (SPA)
Asbjorn Hellemose (DEN)
Emils Liepins (LAT)
Natnael Tesfazion (ERI)
Antonio Tiberi (ITA)

Cofidis

Bryan Coquard (FRA)
Francois Bidard (FRA)
Davide Cimolai (ITA)
Wesley Kreder (NED)
Victor Lafay (FRA)
Alexis Renard (FRA)
Harrison Wood (FRA)

Soudal Quick-Step

Mattia Cattaneo (ITA)
Josef Cerny (CZA)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
James Knox (GBR)
Mauro Schmid (SWI)
Jannik Steimle (GER)
Martin Svrcek (CZA)

Alpecin-Deceuninck

Kaden Groves (AUS)
Jenson Plowright (AUS)
Robert Stannard (AUS)
Samuel Gayze (NZA)
Senne Leysen (BEL)
Oscar Riesebeek (NED)
Michael Gogl (AUS)

Groupama-FDJ

Michael Storer (AUS)
Miles Scotson (AUS)
Lorenzo Germani (ITA)
Reuben Thompson (NZA)
Laurence Pithie (NZA)
Paul Penhoet (FRA)
Rudy Molard (FRA)

Ineos Grenadiers

Geraint Thomas (GBR)
Ethan Hayter (GBR)
Kim Heiduk (GER)
Luke Plapp (AUS)
Magnus Sheffield (USA)
Ben Swift (GBR)

Intermarche-Circus-Wanty

Sven Erik Bystøom (NOR)
Julius Johansen (DEN)
Hugo Page (FRA)
Gerben Thijssen (BEL)
Taco van der Hoorn (NED)
Boy Van Poppel (NED)
Dion Smith (NZA)

Jumbo-Visma

Rohan Dennis (AUS)
Robert Gesink (NED)
Lennard Hofstede (NED)
Timo Roosen (NED)
Milan Vader (NED)
Timo van Dijke (NED)
Jos van Emden (NED)

Movistar

Gorka Izaguirre (SPA)
Imanol Erviti (SPA)
Johan Jacobs (SWI)
Oscar Rodriguez (SPA)
Ivan Romeo (SPA)
Sergio Samitier (SPA)
Luis Guillermo Mas (SPA)

DSM

Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Matt Dinham (AUS)
Patrick Bevin (NZA)
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Martijn Tusveld (NED)

UAE Team Emirates

Jay Vine (AUS)
George Bennett (NZA)
Marc Hirschi (SWI)
Sjoerd Bax (NED)
Alessandro Covi (ITA)
Michael Vink (NZA)
Finn Fisher-Black (NZA)

EF Education-EasyPost

Alberto Bettiol (ITA)
Mikkel Honoré (DEN)
Jens Keukeleire (BEL)
Sean Quinn (USA)
Jonas Rutsch (GER)
Thomas Scully (NZA)
Lukasz Wisniowski (POL)

Bora-Hansgrohe

Jai Hindley (AUS)
Marco Haller (AUS)
Shane Archbold (NZA)
Luis-Joe Luhrs (GER)
Jordi Meeus (BEL)
Max Schachmann (GER)
Giovanni Aleotti (ITA)

Israel Premier-Tech

Chris Froome (GBR)
Daryl Impey (RZA)
Simon Clarke (AUS)
Corbin Strong (NZA)
Taj Jones (AUS)
Sebastian Berwick (AUS)
Derek Gee (CAN)

Australian National Team

Caleb Ewan (AUS)
Jarrad Drizners (AUS)
Graeme Frislie (AUS)
Connor Leahy (AUS)
Zac Marriage (AUS)
James Moriarty (AUS)
Liam Walsh (AUS)

WOMEN'S START LIST

Jayco- AIUla
Ruby Roseman-Gannon (AUS)
Alex Manly (AUS)
Amber Pate (AUS)
Georgia Baker (AUS)
Georgia Howe (AUS)
Jessica Allen (AUS)

Trek-Segafredo

Amanda Spratt (AUS)
Lauretta Hanson (AUS)
Brodie Chapman (AUS)
Tayler Wiles (USA)
Lisa Klein (GER)
Ilaria Sanguineti (ITA)

FDJ-Suez

Grace Brown (AUS)
Loes Adegeest (NED)
Clara Copponi (FRA)
Eugenie Duval (FRA)
Victorie Guilman (FRA)
Gladys Verhulst (FRA)

Human Powered Health

Lily Williams (USA)
Daria Pikulik (POL)
Antri Christoforou (GRE)
Kaia Schmid (USA)
Henrietta Christie (NZA)
Nina Buijsman (NED)

Israel Premier Tech Roland

Caroline Baur (SWI)
Silvia Magri (ITA)
Mia Griffin (IRE)
Thi That N'Guyen (VIE)
Claire Steels (GBR)
Elena Pirrone (ITA)

EF Education-Tibco-SVB

Lauren Stephens (USA)
Emma Langley (USA)
Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA)
Abigail Smith (GBR)
Georgia Williams (NZA)

COOP-Hitec Products

Mari Mohr (NOR)
Josie Nelson (GBR)
Tiril Jorgenson (NOR)
Sylvia Swinkels (NED)
Kerry Jonker (RZA)
Georgia Danford (NZA)

ZAAF Cycling

Danielle De Francesco (AUS)
Elizabeth Stannard (AUS)
Nikola Noskova (CZA)
Michaela Drummond (NZA)
Debora Silvestri (ITA)
Maggie Coles-Lyster (CAN)

ARA Skip Capital

Sophie Edwards (AUS)
Chloe Moran (AUS)
Isabelle Carnes (AUS)
Alex Martin-Wallace (AUS)
Georgia Whitehouse (AUS)
Rachael Wales (AUS)

Bridgelane

Emily Watts (AUS)
Gina Ricardo (AUS)
Jessica Pratt (AUS)
Keely Bennett (AUS)
Lillee Pollock (AUS)
Mia Hayden (AUS)

Australian National Team

Nicole Frain (AUS)
Rachel Neylan (AUS)
Josie Talbot (AUS)
Anya Louw (AUS)
Haylee Fuller (AUS)
Alli Anderson (AUS)

New Zealand National Team

Ally Wollaston (NZA)
Bryony Botha (NZA)
Ella Wyllie (NZA)
Prudence Fowler (NZA)
Rylee McMullen (NZA)
Annamarie Lipp (NZA)

St Michel - Mavic

Roxane Fournier (FRA)
Coralie Demay (FRA)
Simone Boilard (CAN)
Dilyxine Miermont (FRA)
Sandrine Bideau (FRA)
Camille Fahy (FRA)

HOW TO WATCH

We've produced a full guide detailing how to watch all of the action from the first WorldTour races of the season.

Depending on where you are in the world, you may want to consider downloading an ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) to ensure you can gain access to your home broadcaster. 

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Tom Thewlis
Digital News and Features Writer

Tom is a Digital News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly. 


Before joining the Cycling Weekly team, he worked at Oxford Brookes University, most recently in the Internal Communications team. An avid cycling follower with a keen interest in racing, his writing previously featured on Casquettes and Bidons.