Gear up for the UCI World Tour kickoff : The Tour Down Under

The UCI World Tour, a series of 35 road cycling events throughout the year starts with the Tour Down Under, in January.

The Tour Down Under, is sponsored by Santos, a global energy company and the men’s event is a six-day stage race that commences on Tuesday, 16th January.  In addition to the men’s race, the women’s have a three-day stage race, which starts on Friday, 12th January.

About the Men’s event

The men’s race starts in Tanunda and finishes on Mount Lofty, covering 824.6km over the six stages, with the leader wearing the ochre jersey. Ochre is the colour of the South Australian outback and the leader’s jersey pays homage to this and was changed from yellow in 2006.

Last year’s winner, Australian Jay Vine will be returning with UAE Team Emirates and will hope to add to his victory, however he will be facing tough opposition with two-time World Champion Julian Alaphilippe in attendance, leading an undoubtably strong Soudal Quick-Step team.

The first four stages will provide opportunities for sprinters with these routes being described as “undulating.” Stages 5 and 6 are where the climbers will look to capitalise. Stage 5 will see two ascents of Willunga Hill, including the finish. Stage 6 and an ascent up Mount Lofty marks the end of the tour and has an average gradience of 7.3% and is the second time it has been used in the race after making its debut in 2023. It is anticipated that this is where the race will be decided.

You can expect the racing to be hot, matching the Adelaide summer temperatures.

Men’s stages include:

About the Women’s event

The Women’s race is attracting the big teams with familiar names in attendance such FDJ-Suez, Lidl-Trek, Jumbo-Visma, Team Canyon//SRAM.

Leading the FDJ-Suez team will be defending champion, Grace Brown. She will be battling it out against previous winners Amanda Spratt from Lidl-Trek and Ruth Edwards (née Windur) from Human Powered Health.

The race is over 3 stages and totals 291.5km, starting in Hahndorf and finishing on Willunga Hill. Stage3, starts in the Tour Village in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga.

 Women’s stages include:

More than just a race

The Tour Down Under has developed into the largest “Festival of Cycling” in the southern hemisphere with the Tour Village in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga being the central focus.  The final stage of the Women’s race starts from there on Sunday, 13th January, which is preceded by the Down Under Classic, a criterium race through the streets of Adelaide, which gets things rolling for the men, on Saturday, 12th January – a great way to officially start the 2024 season.

About the Author

Tim has a passion for cycling and it was integral to regaining fitness after an arduous battle with cancer.  Tim is the founder of Mountain Massif, who host esports cycling events.  Over the years, Tim has written about a range of cycling topics, including testing and reviewing the major smart trainers.  In addition, he has been fortunate to ride and interview some of the sports leading figures such as Tour de France winner Andy Schleck and sprint legend André Greipel.  Follow on Instagram @Mountain_Massif.  

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