Where: Adelaide, Australia When: January 16-19, 2020 (women’s) January 21-26 2020 (men’s) Rank: UCI WorldTour (men’s) and UCI 2.Pro (women’s)
Daryl Impey wins the 2019 Tour Down Under (Sunada)
Tour Down Under 2020 race info
The Tour Down Under returns for its 22nd edition and its 13th year as the curtain-raiser of the UCI WorldTour.
The women’s Tour Down Under was introduced in 2012, and thus celebrates its ninth edition in 2020. It’s ranked as a UCI 2.Pro.
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 three 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 19.
Then the true race gets underway.
Classic, Sun Jan 19, Port Adelaide to Port Adelaide, 51km
Caleb Ewan comfortably won the Tour Down Under Schwalbe Classic criterium. After a perfect delivery to the final few hundred metres of the race by Roger Kluge, the Lotto-Soudal sprinter finished with daylight separating him and European road race champion Elia Viviani.
Stage one, Tues January 21, Tanuda to Tanuda, 150km
The first stage is a circuit around the South Australian town of Tanuda. The peloton will contest four laps, tackling the third category Breakneck Hill Road climb twice before a sprint finish to decide the first race leader of the 2020 race.
Stage two, Weds January 22, Woodside to Stirling, 135.8km
The opening kilometres of stage two feature a circuit around the category two Quarry Road climb before the bunch makes its way to Stirling for what should be a trickier finish for the sprinters. The slight incline towards the line should benefit the likes of Caleb Ewan.
Stage three, Thurs January 23, Unley to Paracombe, 131km
A rolling parcours setting out from Unley, with most of the action expected to take place in the final 1.2km into Paracombe, which has an average gradient of 9.3 per cent.
The middle of this short climb tops out at 11.5 per cent, so expect a new race leader after this stage as a number of riders look to take advantage of the uphill finish.
Stage four, Fri January 24, Norwood to Murray Birdge, 152.8km
Following the category two Mount Torrens climb halfway through the 150km stage, the peloton will race down towards Murray Bridge, where another sprint finish will be expected as long as a breakaway doesn’t steal a march on the bunch.
Stage five, Sat January 25, Glenelg to Victor Harbor, 149.5km
Another fairly straightforward day for the sprinters, who will only have to get over the category two Kerby Hill in one piece to have a chance at the stage victory in Victor Harbor.
Stage six, Sun January 26, McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill, 151.5km
The main feature of the week’s racing is situated right at the end of the six-day race to provide an exciting climax to the return of the WorldTour.
After the sprinters have had their fill all week it’s over to the GC riders, who will climb Willunga Hill twice, a category three climb that is 3.7km long at an average gradient of 6.8 per cent. The first ascent takes place 25km from the finish and the summit providing us with the finish line the second time around.
Richie Porte has won the stage finishing on Willunga Hill every year since 2014. Compatriot Rohan Dennis is keen to take a first overall victory for new squad Team Ineos so will Porte’s reign be coming to an end?
Women’s Tour Down Under 2020 stages
Stage one, Thurs January 10, Hahndorf to Macclesfield, 116.3km
Stage two, Fri January 11, Murray Bridge to Birdwood, 114.9km
Stage three, Sat January 12, Nairne to Stirling, 109.1km
Stage four, Sun January 13, Flinters Street to Flinters Street, 42.5km<
Tour Down Under: recent winners
2019: Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott)
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)