Stage 2 of the Tour Down Under gives us the first opportunity to see a rider other than German Andre Greipel atop the podium, with the climb up Corkscrew Road likely to allow the climbers to get away, and with the finish just over 7kms after the summit you can expect the sprinters will be nowhere to be seen.
The riders will leave Mount Barker at 11am and take in Macclesfield and Meadows before changing direction and making their way back through the Adelaide Hills, with Hahndorf, Littlehampton and Oakbank all seeing the riders come through the town. The peloton then makes its way through Woodside for the 2nd day running before continuing on through Lenswood and Cudlee Creek.
18kms after passing through Cudlee Creek, the climbers get a chance to show their stuff up the notorious Corkscrew Road hill, a 2.4km long climb with an average gradient of 9.4% gradient that boasts a long, steep section just before the cutbacks that is going to hurt the riders. The King of the Mountain checkpoint is at the summit of this climb, and from there it’s 7.3kms downhill to what is expected to be a very fast finish in Rostrevor.
It’s a stage that is likely to favour someone with genuine speed that can also climb, though the climb is perhaps a little steep for the likes of Classics riders Edvald Boasson Hagen and Philippe Gilbert. Simon Gerrans has his eyes on defending his Tour Down Under title from last year and will be hoping to get some time on his rivals on this stage, but don’t count out Andy Schleck who is keen to show that he’s back in form and ready for a big year of racing.
There are plenty of opportunities for spectators to set up camp and watch the race, but be aware that if you are planning to see the riders struggle up Corkscrew Road there are very few places to park your car nearby and you will need to walk a reasonable distance, and the terrain is very steep.
Tour Down Under Stage 2
Departing: Hutchinson Street, Mount Baker near the intersection with Gawler Street at 11am.
Arriving: Montacute Road, Rostrevor near the Campbelltown City Council Offices at 2pm.
Best watering hole: The Hagen Arms on Angus Street in Euchunga has a balcony upstairs and a veranda downstairs for patrons to view the race and will be serving lunch from 11am. With the Jayco sprint point just 200 metres further up the road, it’s a great spot to relax and watch the riders go past.
Best coffee stop: Anywhere along Mt Barker Road (Main Street) in Hahndorf. Find one of the bakeries selling a large array of delicious German cakes while enjoying your coffee as the peloton race up the main street of Hahndorf.