Where: Adelaide, Australia When: January 10-13, 2019 (women’s) January 15-20 2019 (men’s) Rank: UCI WorldTour (men’s) and UCI 2.1 (women’s)
Daryl Impey wins the 2018 Tour Down Under overall. Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA
Tour Down Under 2019 race info
The Tour Down Under returns for its 21th edition and its 12th year as the curtain-raiser of the UCI WorldTour.
The women’s Tour Down Under was introduced in 2012, and thus celebrates its eighth edition in 2019. It’s ranked as a UCI 2.1 event.
Thanks to the men’s race being at the very start of the international cycling calendar, the Tour Down Under always enjoys considerable attention from cycling fans across the world, eager to see a bit of bike racing after a few fallow months.
Maybe as a result of those few months without cycling, but the racing always seems entertaining too, and although some parts of the peloton use it as a chance to cruise around and enjoy some good weather, at the front the racing is fierce as riders try to pick up crucial WorldTour points early in the year.
The Tour Down Under stages are generally flat or rolling, with sprinters picking up the majority of the stage wins, but the overall winner of the men’s event is generally decided with the annual summit finish on Willunga Hill.
The women’s race also makes heavy use of the Adelaide Hills, though the final stage and the Willunga Hill finish is swapped out in favour of a criterium.
With Australian riders having enjoyed months of training in the sun while riders from the northern hemisphere have been stuck on their turbo trainers, it’s no surprise that the Tour Down Under has traditionally been dominated by Antipodeans.
Australian riders have won the men’s Tour Down Under 12 times, and the women’s four times. Simon Gerrans holds the record for the most overall wins with four of the men’s race, and Amanda Spratt has two wins of the women’s in its short existence.
The race is preceded by the single-day Tour Down Under Classic criterium race in Adelaide, which takes place on Sunday January 13.
Then the true race gets underway.
Classic, Sun Jan 13, Port Adelaide to Port Adelaide, 51km
Stage one, Tues January 15, North Adelaide to Port Adelaide, 132.4km
Stage two, Weds January 16, Norwood to Angaston, 149km
Stage three, Thurs January 17, Lobethal to Uraidla, 146.2km
Stage four, Fri January 18, Uraidla to Athelstone, 129.2km
Stage five, Sat January 29, Glenelg to Strathalbyn, 149.5km
Stage six, Sun January 20, McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill, 151.5km
Women’s Tour Down Under 2019 stages
Stage one, Thurs January 10, Hahndorf to Birdwood, 112.9km
Stage two, Fri January 11, Nuriootpa to Angaston, 116km
Stage three, Sat January 12, Nairne to Stirling, 104.5km
Stage four, Sun January 13, Bartels Road to Bartels Road, 42.5km
Tour Down Under 2018: how the race unfolded
Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) won the general classification of the 2018 Tour Down Under after finishing second on stage five, and holding on to his lead following the final sprint stage.
The first stage went to thoroughbred sprinter André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), but the German was the first rider to surrender to the hills preceding the second day’s finish, which was won by Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott). Greipel was able to return to winning ways during the sprint finish on stage six.
Stage three looked like it might be handed to Ewan once again, but a moment’s hesitation in the final 300 metres saw Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) make his move, though Ewan was still able to keep his claim on the leader’s jersey.
Stage four featured the first of two consecutive uphill finishes, with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) sprinting to the victory from a much reduced peloton. With the win came the overall race lead.
The fifth stage saw a familiar winner on Willunga Hill, with Richie Porte (BMC Racing) winning the race’s queen stage in the same way that he has in every year since 2013. However unlike last year, this was not enough to give him the race lead, as Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) fought to limit his losses, meaning that he had the same time as Porte on GC but moved into the ochre jersey on account of his better finishes on previous stages. Impey was able to maintain that lead in stage six, emerging victorious on the GC.
Tour Down Under: recent winners
2018: Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott)
2017: Richie Porte (BMC Racing)
2016: Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge)
2015: Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing)
2014: Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge)
2013: Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco Pro Cycling)
2012: Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge)
2011: Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Cervelo)
2010: André Greipel (HTC-Columbia)
2009: Allan Davis (Quick Step)
2008: André Greipel (Team High Road)
2007: Martin Elmiger (Ag2r Prévoyance)
Women’s Tour Down Under 2018
Amanda Spratt wins the 2018 Women’s Tour Down Under. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada
The UCI 2.1-ranked Women’s Tour Down Under ran from January 11-14. Australian Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) became the first rider to win more than one edition of the race by taking her second consecutive victory.