Tour Down Under: Preview of the season’s opening race
In a week’s time, BORA – hansgrohe will kick off the opening races of the 2020 season in Australia. As in previous editions, the team heads to Adelaide with Jay McCarthy, who will be hoping to repeat his performance from a few years ago, where he finished on the podium of the general classification. Five of the seven riders of this squad make their Australian racing debut next week.
On Sunday, a 17km-long challenging circuit race around the city of Adelaide will precede the 2020 Tour Down Under proper. Stage 1 of the six-day stage race, which starts and concludes in Tanunda, will consist of a 30km circuit in the Barossa Valley which riders have to complete five times before the peloton sets out on the following day for a 135km-long ride from Woodside to the uphill finish in the township of Sterling in the Adelaide Hills. Stage 3 will be something for the climbers, on a 131km-long and more complex and demanding route from Unley to Paracombe. Plenty of action can be expected on this course, given its race-deciding nature in several of the past editions of the race. The following day, the longest stage awaits the riders, with its 152km-long course from Norwood to Murray Bridge. A slightly lumpy profile with a final climb at Mount Torrens should not preclude the sprinters from having their day. The penultimate 149km-long stage will take the peloton to the south of the state, from the beachside of Glenelg all the way to Victor Harbor. The stage could suit a breakaway, but there is a final climb before the finish which could split the field before the run into the finishing town. The final 151km-long queen stage from McLaren Vale to Willunga is likely to be the decider of the race, with the famed Willunga Hill having to be crested twice before the race winner will be crowned.