The six stages of the next Tour Down Under have been designed to challenge sprinters and all-rounders, with the closing stage finishing at the top of Willunga Hill to ensure the race winner is determined on the final day.
Race Director Mike Turtur, who is stepping down after the 2020 edition, said having Willunga Hill as the final challenge of the TDU proved popular with the riders and spectators in 2019.
“The final up Willunga Hill keeps it interesting,” Turtur said.
“Last year there were five or six riders who could have won the race on the final day, the uncertainty of the stage to determine the winner makes it exciting.”
The 2020 race starts with a city street circuit in the centre of Adelaide ahead of six stages ranging from 135km to 152km in the suburbs and wine regions surrounding the South Australian capital.
Turtur, who established the race 21 years ago, said nostalgia had informed some of his route decisions.
“I had a bit of nostalgia to places I liked in the past,” he said, pointing out that Australian riders or fans of a certain age would have fond memories of the Stage 3 circuit that ends in Paracombe, which has previously hosted state and national titles.
“It’s the same circuit I did when I was 14,” Turtur, a former Olympic gold medallist said.
Turtur said he was confident that last year’s winner Daryl Impey would return to defend his title and that the race would continue to attract world-class sprinters such as Peter Sagan and Caleb Ewan because it was the perfect launching point for a successful Grand Tour season.
“When riders do well for the rest of the year they know they started in Adelaide at the TDU,” said Turtur.
“That success keeps them coming back.”
The 2020 Santos Tour Down Under runs over six contested stages and one street circuit from Sunday, January 19, to Australia Day on Sunday, January.Jump to next article