An previous favorite shall be again in power on the 2024 Tour Down Beneath with Willunga Hill not solely returning to the boys’s race because the penultimate stage on a tricky closing weekend, however the iconic climb of the South Australian race may also present the finale for the Girls’s WorldTour race.
“The 2024 version is an effective mixture of phases that labored rather well in 2023 and we have got some new begin and end areas, which is thrilling,” Tour Down Beneath Race Director Stuart O’Grady informed Cyclingnews. “It is good for the race, it is good for the followers.”
One of many fan favourites all through the years of the race has all the time been the climb that begins simply off the principle road of the small city of Willunga and after a 12 months of absence in 2023 spectators are sure to be again lining the ascent in power for 2024.
“Willunga Hill is probably the most iconic climb we have had in Tour Down Beneath historical past and that is what I am pondering of once I’m designing a variety of this, the individuals which can be making the hassle to return to South Australia and benefit from the present,” stated O’Grady. “You wish to ship the absolute best stage for the riders, but additionally for the followers and, you realize, give them a number of events to yell at their favorite riders as they go previous.”
The three-stage girls’s race will begin with a sprinters stage, with the start of the Girls’s Tour Down Beneath moved to an earlier time-slot of Friday January 12 this 12 months, chopping out the overlap with the boys’s race that has occured previously when the race completed on the Tuesday as the boys’s occasion began.
“We actually needed to provide the ladies their very own focus and I feel it is actually vital for the expansion of their race that it doesn’t overlap,” stated O’Grady.
The Friday begin opens up spectator pleasant weekend racing for the difficult Saturday stage to Stirling and the Sunday finale atop Willunga HIll, which loops by the township twice earlier than heading up for the ascent and a summit finale. This can mark the primary time that the ladies’s worldwide race has taken on the enduring climb and the 2 uphill stage finishes in a row over the weekend are sure to form a difficult and thrilling GC battle.
“We’re all the time making an attempt to develop the occasion and hopefully we will appeal to extra Girls’s WorldTour groups down right here this 12 months,” stated O’Grady. “That is definitely our precedence.”
The boys’s racing will begin with the Down Beneath Traditional criterium on Saturday January 13, a pre-WorldTour race hit out earlier than the principle occasion begins on Tuesday January 16. The primary 4 phases ship a possibility for the sprinters and the puncheurs, with stage 2 particularly throwing in a sequence of quick however steep climbs that might go well with the attackers.
Then on the weekend its all for the climbers, as Willunga Hill returns on stage 5, with two ascents. The primary of the 2 days of summit finishes is prone to be decisive within the total competitors. The finale will as soon as once more be on high of Mount Lofty, with three ascents in 2024 somewhat than 2023’s 5, nonetheless it should nonetheless be a tricky summit end to crown the general victor because the day nonetheless consists of greater than 2,800m of climbing.
“The ultimate weekend for the boys’s might be going to be probably the most thrilling in historical past,” stated O’Grady.
Whereas there are lots of acquainted sections of street from 2023 version of the races, received by Jay Vine and Grace Brown, there are additionally some note-able absences. For a begin with the ladies’s racing now in full swing over the weekend the ladies’s peloton is not going to be lining up for the standard pre-race criterium because of the overlap. The boys’s 5.5km prologue may also not be returning for the 2024 males’s version of the race, nonetheless, that doesn’t imply it is not going to be again down the observe.
“It simply immediately brings a brand new dynamic to the race. As a substitute of chasing bonus seconds, all the peloton are just about on a special time immediately so it simply creates a extra aggressive type of racing,” stated O’Grady. “I feel it was a very cool a part of this 12 months’s occasion and it’s definitely one thing that we’ll take a look at bringing again sooner or later.”
What has modified – Race begins on a Friday, with a transfer to a weekend finale and amped up degree of climbing. Crossover of Girls’s WorldTour race with regular timeslot of criterium on Saturday means the ladies’s pre-race hit out is off the desk. Willunga Hill is showing within the worldwide race for the primary time ever.
- Friday January 12, stage 1 – Hahndorf to Campbelltown, 92km and certain one for the sprinters
- Saturday January 13, stage 2 – Glenelg to Stirling, 104km with an uphill end and course that might go well with the puncheurs
- Sunday January 13, stage 3 – Adelaide CBD to Willunga Hill, 93km and ending on the summit of the enduring climb
What has modified – The prologue is out this 12 months, making it six full street phases of racing and Willunga HIll is returning on the penultimate day, making it a tricky last weekend earlier than the end on the highest of Mount Lofty.
- Saturday January 13, Down Beneath Traditional – Quick paced metropolis circuit with 1 hour plus three laps of racing. Occasion not included in WorldTour race.
- Tuesday January 16, stage 1 – Tanunda to Tanunda, 144km by the Barossa. A flat stage suited to the sprinters.
- Wednesday January 17, stage 2 – Norwood to Lobethal, 141 km within the Adelaide Hills with three ascents of the quick however steep Fox Creek Climb. Leans to the attackers.
- Thursday January 18, stage 3 – Tea Tree Gully to Campbelltown, 145 km beginning with a small climb earlier than heading into a quick end.
- Friday January 19, stage 4 – Murray Bridge to Port Elliot, 136km that takes peloton previous lake Alexandrina earlier than a first-time end at Horseshoe Bay. Ultimate stage that fits the sprinters.
- Saturday January 20, stage 5 – Christie’s Seaside to Willunga Hill, 129 km which takes riders by McLaren Vale earlier than two laps of the enduring climb, with a summit end prone to be decisive within the GC race.
- Sunday January 21, stage 6 – Unley to Mount Lofty, 128km with three ascents of Mount Lofty and a summit finale to the opening week of WorldTour racing in 2024.