After three relatively flat stages, the 2018 Tour Down Under hits its stride on Friday with stage four – the first of two back-to-back uphill finishes.
The stage from Norwood to Uraidla covers 128.2km and finishes with a tough ascent of Norton Summit Road, which should provide a launchpad for attacks and serve to whittle the bunch down.
Many of the general classification riders will want to try and stay in touch with the lead group, but mindful of the following day’s decisive ascent of Old Willunga Hill on stage five.
North Summit Road has been used before the in the race, but never for a finish. And this will be the first time in the race’s 20-year history that two consecutive stages have featured a final climb.
Richie Porte (BMC) is the defanding champion, having won the 2017 edition of the race. The Australian is seeking a second consecutive win – perhaps he will make his move on stage four? Or perhaps an on-form Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) will seek to continue his winning run after securing victory in TDU prelude race, the People’s Choice Classic last Sunday.
The 2018 Tour Down Under started on Tuesday, January 16, and will finish in Adelaide on Sunday, January 21.