Stage 4 preview
Today’s festivities start with the mayhem known as the Bupa Challenge Tour. This is a fantastic opportunity for everyday cyclists and aspiring professionals to ride on the course that the peloton will also travel a few hours later. 7,000 riders are expected to take part in this year’s Challenge, with 4 different distance rides being on offer. Many riders will tackle the full 127kms that the pros will ride, while those who aren’t as keen to be in the saddle that long can choose between 92kms, 47 kms or a pleasant 20kms.
Those riders planning to do the full stage will be leaving the start point at Modbury via the Civic Park grass. The start of any Bupa Challenge event is great to watch as waves of riders jostle for position, but with the added degree of difficulty from the unusual surface, this will make fantastic viewing and once the amateurs are gone, you can walk over to the Tea Tree Plaza for a bite to eat or a spot of shopping to kill some time before the peloton have a go at the grass start at 11am.
The Bupa Challenge is incredibly well run, with 8 hydration and snack stations set up on the course, AvantiPlus Mechanical support available for riders suffering mechanical issues and St. John volunteers on hand to assist riders who don’t feel great or fall off and have a little scrape.
This is another of the fantastic events that the Tour Down Under has to offer, which make the Tour more than just a race but a week long festival of cycling.
When the peloton set off at 11am from the grass of Civic Park in Modbury, they will head towards Golden Grove, pass through One Tree Hill and then go up to the Skoda King of the Mountain on Kersbrook Road, Humbug Scrub. This climb is quite long at 6.4 kilometres, but with an average gradient of 5.4%, it shouldn’t prove too difficult and riders dropped on the climb should have plenty of time to rejoin the peloton.
Williamstown and Birdswood get their chance to view the riders, with the climb just after Williamstown likely to temporarily split the peloton again, and then it’s time for two Jayco sprints, the first in Mount Pleasant followed by one in Springton. A small climb at Eden Valley awaits the riders, but once up this it’s a 30km roll downhill to the finish in Tanunda and a fast bunch sprint is expected.
This stage offers some good viewing spots, but with no spots that the riders will visit more than once, picking the right location is paramount. The grass start at Modbury will be great viewing, as will the finish at Tanunda, while sprint points at Mt Pleasant and Springton should also be interesting.
Tour Down Under Stage 4
Departing: Civic Park, Modbury at 11am
Arriving: Murray Street, Tanunda near Basedow Road at 2:15 approximately
Best watering hole: The Springton Hotel will be located right opposite the 2nd Jayco Sprint point, a perfect place to sit back and relax with a drink while the sprinters go about their business.
Best coffee stop: Any of the cafes along Murray Street, Tanunda, where you can treat yourself to a latte and grab a top vantage spot to watch the riders set up the sprint finish.