Sunday 13 January 2019: People’s Choice Classic: East End Circuit (51 km)
Tuesday 15 January 2019: Stage 1: North Adelaide to Port Adelaide (132.4 km)
Wednesday 16 January 2019: Stage 2: Norwood to Angaston (149 km)
Thursday 17 January 2019: Stage 3: Lobethal to Uraidla (146.2 km)
Friday 18 January 2019: Stage 4: Unley to Campbelltown (129.2 km)
Saturday 19 January 2019: Stage 5: Glenelg to Strathalbyn (149.5 km)
Sunday 20 January 2019: Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6: McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5 km)

A Willunga Hill finish on Sunday sounds great for the race and I'm sure the Airport will be happy as most will flight out Monday now.

They haven't announced the Bupa stage yet? I hope it's not the Sat ending in Strath.

But happy Corkscrew is back.

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Official stage maps, my analysis in italics:

People's Choice Classic

Good to see the crit return to the loop around Rymill Park with its <120s lap times which is far more spectator friendly than the Bartels-Wakefield loop.

Stage 1: North Adelaide to Port Adelaide

Interesting out-and-back formula which will be spectator friendly, but disappointing to have the run in to the finish on the expressway. The run in is too long and flat to enable opportunities for attacks.

Stage 2: Norwood to Angaston

Reasonably good, but could be improved by descending Mengler Hill into Angaston rather than Bethany, passing through and then doing the whole Barossa loop anti-clockwise to put a second ascent of Mengler Hill (from the Bethany side) closer to the final.

However, given the lack of other opportunities for sprinters I can see why the clockwise loop has been chosen.

Stage 3: Lobethal to Uraidla

Excellent stage route, the queen stage of the race with a whopping 3,337 metres of climbing, nearly twice that of the Willunga stage! This will sort out the GC and open up the second half of the race. The downhill finish into Uraidla produced the best stage final in the history of the TDU, great to see it returning. 

Stage 4: Norwood to Campbelltown

Good route with a good final, and important that it is placed after the Uraidla queen stage to allow for more open racing towards the end.

Stage 5: Glenelg to Strathalbyn

On the surface a fairly disappointing route going straight along the main roads without any more interesting diversions along the likes of Reservoir Road or Sawpit Road, but the race won't be able to attract any top-grade sprinters if it only had a couple of chances for them.

It was announced a couple of weeks ago that this will be the Challenge Tour (it appears to have no Bupa sponsorship this year) stage - see the forum discussion of the Challenge Tour route here.

Stage 6: McLaren Vale to Willunga

Same formula as usual, reliable but in no way courageous choice. 

I don't think shifting this stage to the final day will be the panacea needed to stem the stagnation of the race though, it's more or less still the same formula.


So my overall opinion is Bad, not because of the Willunga stage itself but because of what has been lost - the popular city circuit race which is great for drawing in non-fans to see the sport for the first time, and the opportunity for a genuine shakeup of the race format. 

The bupa is on the Saturday so this could be good for some and bad for others organisers can’t please everyone so changing it could be a good thing it may work it may not but kudos for organisers for mixing it up

Well it is a pity to lose the final "loop" race on the Sunday as it is a great one to watch but it will make for perhaps a tense finish if GC contenders are closely matched going into the final day.

I usually don't get to see the Willunga Hill stage as I am usually working but I can this time around :-)

Could be quite explosive racing!

Overall - Neutral

I think this might be the best tdf for some time. The dropping of the city stage, good. It was killing the tour. Shifting Willunga to Sunday, great, it’s become an iconic stage and had to be kept. Saturday I hope works, Yankalilla is so pretty to ride through. The first three stages have been well thought out I can’t wait.
Overall impression. This will be a tdf to remember.

I agree with Matt S.  The changes are very good IMO.  The CBD stage on a Sunday was usually just a crit for the sprinters.   The weekend stages will hopefully provide some real racing.   I always watch the Willunga stage from Main Road and enjoy the festive atmosphere.   It is just not the same in the city on the Sunday.

Overall - Very Good

Stage 3 has them racing up Spring Gully Rd 7 times?  That will be fun … to watch!!  Might put some in a pickle :)


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