My Tour Down Under 2016 itinerary

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Postby Dougie » 08 Jan 2016, 10:34

Tour Down Under 2016

The Plan

Hidey Ho TDUers,

This year’s edition of the Tour Down Under is shaping up to be another cracker. All the fun in the sun that you can have in one week and an opportunity to hone those razor sharp tan lines into a truly impressive “Farmers Tan”.

Sunday, 17th of January
The People Choice Classic crit is held in Adelaide’s East End. Some great eateries and pubs in the area to fill you up, on what should be a pleasantly warm evening. The Crit is held on part of the motor racing circuit. This race serves as a prologue to the actual stage race and see’s the winner presented with the Ochre Jersey. It’s a bit of a festival atmosphere and a good introduction to the race if you haven’t seen it before.

Generally, I miss this race. I might pick it up on TV or see a highlights package. It’s held deep into “family time” for me so I happily leave it to the diehards to watch it live.

Monday, 18th of January
This is the classic Rider Stalking Day. You have a couple of choices here as no stage race is held today and the Pro’s are on holidays. Phil Liggett the voice of cycling rolls out of the Hilton at 6.15am sharp with the members of the La Squadra Adelaide Cycling Club. They do a pretty easy ride and end up at Bocelli Café on Hutt St.

Alternatively, to can hunt for pro riders. This is a little more challenging as they roll out from the Hilton for a Coffee ride to Outer Harbour and then Henley Beach sometime between 8am and 10am. That’s what we’ll be doing. Probably after the Phil Ride.

Opportunities also abound for some nice flat coffee rides around the city. Trust me you’ll want to save your legs for the rest of the week.

Of course you could enter the Norton Summit Time Trial and feel like part of the Tour ... time-trial

Tuesday, 19th of January
It’s on like Donkey Kong! Stage 1 of the TDU. My plan is to ride directly to the KOM site on North East Rd. It’s about 20KM north east of the City. The riders are due to roll through just before 11.40am. The idea will be to get a good spot about 10.45am in readiness for some cheering. The Tour Caravan usually rolls through about an hour before the riders. Grab yourself some souvenirs. This is also an opportunity for you to have a go at the KOM and compare your time and effort again the Pro’s on Strava.

Once the Green Light vehicle has passed by you are free to do your own thing. Will and I will most likely ride back to the Tour Village via the beautiful Gorge Rd. This route will be around 35KM from the KOM back to the Hilton with a total drop in altitude of 350M. There will also be an opportunity for quick spin up the Corkscrew. All up about 60KM day

Wednesday, 20th of January
Stage 2, Unley to Stirling.

This is always a great Stage. It’s very accessible and a very good opportunity for those non riding members of the Peloton to get amongst the action. Will and I will ride out from the Hilton at about 9am. We’ll head over to King William Rd Unley which lies only a few kilometres to the south of the city. Here we’ll meet up with our family and have brunch. Just after 10am the Pro’s roll in along with the convoy of support vehicles. This is good time to snare some autographs and ubiquitous selfies with the riders as you stand collectively in the coffee shop queues. You’ll be pinching yourself as household name riders wait politely behind you for their order to be completed.

Once the gun has gone we’ll follow the riders up to Crafters via the Old Princes Highway, now four line bike path. After about an hour we roll into the quaint Adelaide Hills village of Stirling. You can either, make camp here and take in the festival atmosphere, or venture on to Aldgate and Mylor and see the riders in different locations. Be sure to get back to Stirling for the finish though. My family are always located on the corner of The Avenue and Mt Barker Rd. We’ll leave from here to get back to Adelaide. If you are Johnny on the Spot you’ll pick up the wheel of one the 150 Pro’s, most of whom ride back to Adelaide on one of the most glorious descents in the country. 17KM of downhill back to the Hilton. A great day on the bike. All up about a 60KM day.

Thursday, 21st of January
Stage 3, Glenelg to Campbelltown

One word, Corkscrew! This is it. This is the big one. The Corkscrew is the mythical climb that you’ve heard about. It’s rather challenging to say the least. We’ve got just under two hours to ride from the lovely beachside suburb of Glenelg to Stirling. Once we have seen the peloton pass by we will again hit the road.

Timing will be tight. We have about an hour and a bit to get from Stirling to Montacute and Corkscrew Rd. The 20km journey through the Adelaide Hills will be delightful but lacking in flat bits of road. The sooner we get to the Corkscrew the sooner we can secure a viewing spot. I reckon at best we will be halfway down the hill so be prepared for a bit of climbing. With TV Motos whizzing by, make sure that you have your Club kit or mankini on. This is the five seconds of fame you’ve always wanted. Depending on traffic we will either roll home via Montacute Rd at the top of the Corkscrew or the Gorge Rd at the bottom.

This will be a pretty big day with 75km of riding and 1000 metres of climbing.

Friday, 22nd of January
Stage 4, Norwood to Victor Harbour

Will and I will be riding the full 142KM Bupa Challenge Ride. The Team meeting place will be Cibo Espresso at Norwood Place Mall on the northern side of The Parade at Norwood at about 6.15am for a team photo. There is a small shopping mall with clean toilets etc. I would imagine that everything will be open with the Bupa ride starting at 6.30am.

Ride at your own pace and enjoy the day. Will and I will finish the ride, find a shady tree and eat lunch. After the obligatory selfies we’ll toddle off and find our family and watch the Pro’s contest the sprint. One thing for sure, we won’t be riding home today! That night I shall be seeking out a big steak, chips, salad and pepper sauce accompanied by a bottle of South Australian Shiraz. The Stag hotel on East Terrace does this well as does the Coopers Ale House (aka The Earl of Aberdeen) on Pultney St.

Saturday, 23rd of January
Stage 5, McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill

This is a great day! This stage also suits the non-riding members of the Peloton. The Start in McLaren Vale is busy however there are plenty of shops open and parking is pretty easy. Arts and crafty type stuff is all around as well at the ubiquitous winery experience. There are five laps of the course rolling through the main st of McLaren Vale so it is easy to set up camp and enjoy the day’s racing. For those a little more adventurous there’s Willunga Hill. The Peloton conducts two climbs of Willunga so there’s plenty to see. Be warned, the crowd on this climb is about as close to an Alpe d’Huez experience as you are likely to find in Australia. Word is that there are 30,000 spectators lining the 3km route to the summit. Having been there for the last couple of years I am prepared to believe it. Unless you drive to the top very VERY early the day prior you cannot drive anywhere near it. So be prepared to walk. There are pretty good facilities (portaloos) along the way, but not so many on the hill itself.

I am not sure if William will ride to McLaren Vale with me today. He’ll certainly ride from McLaren Vale to the top of Willunga Hill though. The crowd is mercilessly fun and they are especially appreciative of juniors riding up the hill. I have never seen Will smiling so much as when he rode up the hill last year.

We’ll be rolling out from the Hilton at 8am with a plan to arrive at around 10am in the McLaren Vale. It’s a 45KM ride, 33KM of it is on a separated bike path. There’s one nasty climb near the beginning of the Pat Jonker Bike Way but after than it’s all beer and skittles. We should arrive in time to grab brunch/morning tea and watch the riders form up. It is an extremely busy day. Not only are all the tourists there but so are all the South Australians who have been working all week.

My Family usually sets up camp in a park on the high side of the road, just after the start line. There’s a big screen, jazz band, jumping castle and sausage sizzle. It’s how we roll in the Kirkham household. We’ll watch the first two laps and then head off on the 10KM ride to the town of Willunga. We might get to see the riders come through Willunga and then head for the beach. Once that’s done we’ll head up the Hill. Willunga Hill is a Zoo. The last couple of years I have managed to get about 150-200 metres from the top before needing to pull over and make camp. This will be my plan this year also. Bring food, drink, a hat and sunscreen. There really aren’t any facilities this far up the hill. Then sit back and soak up the atmosphere.

The race is scheduled to conclude at 3pm. It will probably take a good 30 plus minutes to get off the hill and back towards McLaren Vale. The trip down the hill is much slower than coming up. Depending on the lay of the land I may ride back to Adelaide but don’t count on it. You won’t get lost though as about 100,000 other riders will be heading back to Adelaide so you just need to follow them. If you do ride back you will have completed another 100KM plus day in the saddle.

Sunday, 24th January
Stage 6, The City Crit

I have been fortunate in recent years to watch this Stage from a Corporate Box. I tend to find the hospitality wonderful but the racing dull. Viewing can be a challenge and it can be terribly hot. You really won’t miss anything if you miss it.

I will probably have an early ride up to Mt Lofty taking one of the various routes to the summit. It’s about a 700 metre climb and the view is worth the journey. I’ll make this plan closer to the day.

I hope you enjoy your visit. My number is 0434148612

See you on the Road!


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Postby JoTheBuilder » 08 Jan 2016, 11:28

Great thank you Dougie! Looking forward to another cracking week in Radelaide.

We will be in for most of that. Question mark over Willunga this year as my mates have a holiday house in Victor Harbor so we might hole up there for the night after the BUPA ride.

Peter T
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Postby Peter T » 14 Jan 2016, 09:10

Thanks for the game plan Douglas. Looking forward to doing Adelaide again.

Unfortunately wont be able to do the 142 kay Bupa ride to Victor Harbour on Friday 22 January. Knee trouble has stuffed me up.

Spoke to the organisers and they can do a transfer to another rider to replace me. there anybody interested in joining the Domestiques??

Let me know and we can put it into action straight away.

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Postby ratzzzzz » 15 Jan 2016, 07:54

I'll take it Pete. PM or sms me 0406365398 and let me know details

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Postby Dougie » 15 Jan 2016, 13:52

Good work lads!

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Postby andrewb » 16 Jan 2016, 14:09

The Women's Tour is on again this year, cycling fans.

Schedule as follows:

Stage 1: 1100 16/01/2016(Saturday). Road race Mt Torrens

Stage 2: 1745 17/01/2016 (Sunday). Criterium. East End, Adelaide
Finish: 1825 (estimated)
Distance: 20.4km circuit
(event is run prior to the Men's race)

Stage 3: 1100 18/01/2016 (Monday). Road race, Barossa Valley Way, Lyndoch
Finish: 1330 (estimated)
Distance: 100.8km

Stage 4: 1830 19/01/2016 (Tuesday). Criterium, Victoria Park
Finish: 1940 (est) Victoria Park
Distance: 1.2km circuit

I'll be going to the crit at Vic Park on Tuesday. It was an exciting and tactical race, so hope to see some other DHBC TdUers there.

(Last year we went for dinner at a fancy restaurant afterwards, so wear your best bib knicks and a clean jersey just in case.)


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Postby Camilla » 17 Jan 2016, 04:53

Sounds great! I was hoping to be there this year so am a tiny bit jealous. Although I REALLY do not have the right to be. Rome is fantastic! Hope you all have a great time. I'll be keeping an eye on you through social media (while eating pizza).

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Postby andrewb » 17 Jan 2016, 06:27

Also, Bridie O'Donnell will be making a tilt at the Women's Hour record on Friday night.
It's at 8pm at the velodrome at Gepps Cross. Other racing starts at 6.

details here: ... our-record

I'm intending to go out to see it. It's the evening of the long ride to Victor, though ...

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