Night time crits, live music, street parties, participation rides, and the largest-ever Tour Village will be among the highlights of the 2023 Santos Festival of Cycling program which has been announced today.
Making its long-awaited return after two years of major interruption due to Covid-19, the ’23 Santos Tour Down Under will be held from 13-22 January.
The centrepiece of the 10-day festival of cycling will be an updated Tour Village in Victoria Square with organisers saying it will be the largest village yet.
The Women’s Stages
Saturday 14th January – the Schwalbe Classic
A win or a place doesn’t count towards standings in the Santos Tour Down Under, but this late afternoon crit is guaranteed to deliver some thrilling racing!
In major changes from previous city criteriums, for 2023 the Schwalbe Classic will start and finish in Flinders Street before passing the Tour Village in Victoria Square, then heading down Wakefield Street and along Pulteney Street before turning turn back onto Flinders.
Sunday 15th January – Stage 1 – Glenelg to Aldinga
Glenelg is a favourite starting point for the Tour down under, the main strip lending itself to a festival atmosphere while providing wonderful vantage points for fans. From there it’s a fast coastal smash fest south to Aldinga.
This 110km stage takes in some of SA’s most iconic stretches of coastline before heading to Willunga. Riders will pass through the village twice, first at 53.8km and again for a second time at the 93.2km mark before heading to the Snapper Point finish line.
Monday 16th January Stage 2 – Birdwood to Uraidla
This one is shaping up to be a stunning day of cycling in the iconic Adelaide Hills. It’s basically a reverse of the route taken in stage five of the men’s race and just 90kms in length.
Riders will tackle Mount Lofty which makes up part of the 1643m climbed during the stage! The final 30km should see plenty of opportunity for attacks making for a fast finish and thrilling day out.
Stage 3 – Adelaide to Campbelltown – Tuesday 17th January Stage 3
Downtown Adelaide is the start point for this thriller of a Women’s TDU stage that takes in the iconic climb of Corkscrew Rd before finishing in Campbelltown.
The stage features two sprints to test the fastest riders – the first is at Lobethal, 28.2km into racing and later down the main street of Gumeracha at the 62.5-kilometre mark. But the highlight will no doubt be the challenging Corkscrew Road. Included in the woman’s race for the first time, it is one of Adelaide’s most iconic and difficult climbs and will decide the QOM points.
The Men’s Stages
Saturday 14th January – The Schwalbe Classic Criterium From 5pm
The official curtain-raiser of the Santos Tour Down Under, the Schwalbe Classic will again bring high-speed crit racing to the heart of Adelaide. The world’s best male and female riders will take on a fast-paced 1.35km circuit through Adelaide’s centre from late in the afternoon on Saturday, January 14.
The start/finish line will be located outside the Pilgrim Church on Flinders Street. From there the bunch turns into King William Street, heads around the northern edge of Victoria Square / Tarntanyangga before turning left onto Wakefield Street. A left turn at Pulteney Street then swings the riders back onto Flinders for the fast straight to the start/finish line.
Tuesday 17th January – The Efex Prologue From 6pm
A new format for 2023, for the first time ever the TDU will feature a prologue prior to the start of racing. A late afternoon race, this is sure to be a visual extravaganza. The 5.5-kilometre Adelaide Riverbank route begins on the footbridge which will make for a spectacular start. It concludes near the Elder Park Rotunda, with tight turns and a dive-bomb descent in the mix.
Wednesday 18th January – Ziptrack Stage 1 – Tanunda to Tanunda 11am start
The start of all-in road racing, the 150km Stage 1 starts and finishes in the stunning Barossa village of Tanunda. The second-longest stage of the 2023 TDU, this is one for the sprinters and will no doubt be a thriller.
Thursday 19th January – Stage 2 from Brighton to Victor Harbour 11am start
At 11am on Thursday the pro peloton will depart Jetty Rd at Brighton for the 156km ride to Victor Harbour. In what’s sure to be a spectacular day of racing amidst the stunning South Australian coastal landscapes, this will be one of the highlights of the week.
Friday 20th January – Stage 3 – Norwood to Campbelltown 11am start
Norwood is a familiar starting point for the Tour Down Under and offers the perfect streetscape to cheer on the riders. Around 3 1/2hours later the peloton will arrive in Campbelltown for the conclusion of the 118.5km stage.
Saturday 21st January – Stage 4 – Port Willunga – Willunga Township 11am start
The second last stage and one that takes the Tours most iconic regions, Stage 4 covers just over 135km and concludes in the middle of Willunga (but not on top of the famed hill).
Sunday 22nd January – Schwalbe Stage 5 – Unley – Mount Lofty 11am start
Anyone who has ridden Adelaide has no doubt climbed Mt Lofty. This 114km stage takes in a challenging, scenic and fan-friendly route. The grand finale is on top of Lofty, with the race finishing there for the very first time.
The Tour Village will feature pop-up bars with daily happy hours, a family zone and seating, ample shade, live music, and fresh meals inspired by the race stages each day.
There will be plenty on offer for cycling fans including Australia’s largest bike expo, expert panel discussions and the chance to meet elite international riders in the Team Zone.
Other highlights will include the return of the TREK Night Riders racing, the latest gadgets, technology and hear from brand experts in Australia’s largest bike expo, see mechanics at work in the all-new Team Zone – set to feature both men and women’s teams for the first time – and listen to daily panel chats with cycling experts including riders from the peloton.
Amateur riders will be able to take part in daily group rides, meet their favourite riders and watch stages live-streamed on the big screen in the Tour Village throughout the day.
Fans from around Australia will have even more reason to celebrate, with Virgin Australia offering free transport for 1000 bikes for passengers travelling to the Santos Tour Down Under.
The Santos Tour Down Under – and incorporated Santos Festival of Cycling – is taking place in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 13-22 January 2023. It will feature nine days of elite racing for men and women.
The Tour Village will be open from 13 to 21 January 2023 and entry is free.
Full event schedules plus Santos Festival of Cycling events and ticketing information can be found at tourdownunder.com.au