Stage 3 – Glenelg to Campbelltown
Thursday 21 January, 139km
An important day. And a glorious contrast. Stage 3 starts on the blissfully flat and picturesque sea front at Glenelg and ends in the north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide, via a potentially brutal loop that begins to the south along the Fleurieu Peninsula before climbing almost constantly north from McLaren Flat for an encore visit to Stirling. From there the riders continue through Hahndorf, Lobethal and Cuddle Creek before the Gorge Road turn-off announces the potentially spirit crushing 3.6km ascent of Corkscrew Hill, averaging 7% but topping out well over 20% in sections. It’s unlikely the race will be decided today, but if you have hopes of winning the Santos Tour Down Under you simply have to get over without hemorrhaging time. The exertions of the climb are instantly rewarded with surely one of the best descents in Australian cycling, as riders blast down Montacute Road towards the familiar finish at Campbelltown. There’s a tight right-hander into Maryvale Road inside the final kilometre, so if riders are still together it could make for interesting viewing.
(Contribution from Peter Maniaty, originally published in the Jan-Feb 2016 issue of Bicycling Australia Magazine)
A change in the leaders overnight puts Jay McCarthy (TNK) in the Ochre jersey, followed closely by Diego Ulissi of Lampre-Merida, Simon Gerrans (OGE) and Rohan Dennis (BMC) in the overall General Classification.