13 Sep 2022

Stages in detail

It’s finally happening. The first UCI Women’s WorldTour stage race in the southern hemisphere will take place in South Australia this January. Its three stages, meticulously designed by Santos Tour Down Under race director Stuart O’Grady OAM – together with assistant race directors and Australian cycling stars, Annette Edmondson and Carlee Taylor – will challenge even the most ambitious riders. Iconic climbs, fast sprints and historic finishes feature in the race. Excitement awaits riders and fans alike.  

Definitive elements of the race 

Corkscrew climb
It seems fitting that in the first year of the Santos Tour Down Under women’s race securing UCI Women’s WorldTour status, the race features one of the most iconic and challenging ascents in South Australia. Who will light it up on the steep slopes of Corkscrew Road? We can't wait to find out. 

Uraidla and Mt Lofty showcase
We couldn't let the men have all the fun racing Mt Lofty. The women will race up the back of this iconic climb, a route sure to cause some splits in the bunch and offer good launchpads for riders seeking general classification glory. 

Coastline Glory
For the first time in Santos Tour Down Under history a stage will finish along the iconic South Australian coastline. Spend the day on Aldinga beach for the Women’s stage 1 to see the riders pass twice, including a fast sprint to the line to claim the ochre jersey and this first stage.  

Stages for the fans
With stage one favouring sprinters, two being a puncheur stage and three most likely one for the climbers, there’s a high possibility we'll see the leader's Ochre jersey change every day. With great viewing points throughout the race fans will be amongst the action to cheer on the riders through every twist and turn. Keen cyclists can travel by bike between vantage points to catch plenty of action while also enjoying a ride.  


This curtain-raiser always sets the scene for a great week of racing. Success here doesn’t count towards standings in the Santos Tour Down Under, but good form in central Adelaide always indicates the riders who mean business. 

In 2023 the Classic will start and finish in Flinders Street, skirting the Tour Village in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, continuing down Wakefield Street and along a section of Pulteney Street before a left turn back on to Flinders. Prime sprints will take place at 15, 30 and 45 minutes into racing. O’Grady describes it as a simple, fast circuit – one set to deliver all the excitement of international cycling once again.  


At a glance 
This stage is a race for the sprinters amongst the peloton, with two big and fast battles to the line. Featuring some of South Australia’s most iconic stretches of coastline, the 110.4km stage is the women’s longest day in the saddle.  

Starting in beautiful Glenelg, there are many great spots for fans to get close to the Women’s WorldTour peloton along the route. Ride down for breakfast at the Bay before the race, sit on Aldinga beach to watch the peloton fly along the coast, or sip wine at the dazzling d’Arenberg Cube, an iconic viewing location. A flatter day compared to others, there will be two opportunities for riders to earn sprint points. 

With both sprints on this first day taking place on the same section of road, find a spot anywhere from the Willunga Show Hall for best viewing. Riders will pass through twice, first at 53.8km at approximately 12.55pm and again for a second time at the 93.2km mark, at approximately 2.00pm.

This stage features one Queen of the Mountain opportunity. Starting just after riders have passed the d’Arenberg Cube, the Chapeys Hill Climb will be the first time we see the climbers test their legs this Tour. With a maximum gradient of 10%, this climb is classified as a category 4 and is 820m long.  

A fast run into the finish line at Snapper Point will make this one exciting. Witness the history of this being the first time a Santos Tour Down Under stage has ever finished along the coastline. Who will claim the Ochre Jersey for this first stage? 


At a glance
A day set to favour puncheur cyclists, the peloton will wind its way through the Adelaide Hills, a reverse of the route taken in stage five of the Santos Tour Down Under men’s race. At 90kms this is the shortest stage of the race but that won’t make it any less gruelling for the riders.  

We couldn't let the men have all the fun racing Mt Lofty. The women will climb the back of the iconic landmark, an ascent sure to cause some splits in the bunch and provide good launchpads for riders to test their luck in advancing through the pack.  

Day two features two sprints never seen before in the Santos Tour Down Under. The first will see riders head out to Williamstown to the edge of the Barossa wine region before a sprint in Kersbrook, 34.5km into the stage. 

Riders will pass through the charming home of the world’s largest rocking horse, Gumeracha, continuing through Lobethal and along Deviation Road into Uraidla before the second sprint at Summertown.   

This day will see riders climbing a total of 1643m. The QOM will be around the beautiful Kangaroo Creek Reservoir which will provide great vantage points for fans.  

The ride is also set to feature a climb up the back of Mount Lofty and another ascent to the top of Summertown before the sprint. All-rounders should see this stage as their chance to attack.     

The last 25-30km of the race will see a lot of opportunity for riders to attack, setting the scene for an exciting finish. This ride into Uraidla via Swamp Rd will be a pivotal point in the race, with those riders who love short, punchy climbs no doubt keen to maximize their chance of a stage win. 


At a glance 
This grand finale for the women’s race will be one for the climbers. It will see the women climb a gruelling 1773m, including one of Adelaide’s toughest and iconic ascents – Corkscrew Road. 

Starting at the same Adelaide Riverbank location as the men’s prologue the same afternoon, the women will ride 13km under neutral conditions while leaving the city.  

Fans can climb the Kangaroo Creek Gorge Dam for a great vantage point, line the demanding slopes of Corkscrew to see who will be crowned QOM or wait at a finish that has shaped some of the Santos Tour Down Under’s most memorable moments.

Stage 3 will feature two sprints sure to test the fastest riders. The first will be at Lobethal, 28.2km into racing. Cyclists will sprint through the main street of Gumeracha at the 62.5-kilometre mark, very close to the iconic Big Rocking Horse.   

The route will tackle the formidable Corkscrew Road for the first time, one of Adelaide’s most iconic and difficult climbs. The category one climb will be the main decisive point in the race. Queen of the Mountain points will be hard-earned in this stage.  

Although not a climb for QOM points, an ascent at Cudlee Creek will test riders’ legs, and with two days of racing already under their belts, the peloton is likely to be under the pump. Fans will be able to see who is feeling good before the finale.  

An exciting finish awaits riders in the final sector of the race. They’ll turn left at Birdwood before the final effort to get home first at Rostrevor. This iconic finish has a place in Santos Tour Down Under history – it’s where both Geraint Thomas (2018) and Cadel Evans (2011) have won in the past, both then going on to win the Tour De France.


The Santos Tour Down Under is part of the UCI World Tour

UCI WorldTourUCI Women's WorldTour