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Competitors in the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under will visit Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Barossa before a gruelling finish at the top of Old Willunga Hill in the penultimate stage.
The 2012 Santos Tour Down Under race routes were unveiled today, with Prospect, just out of the Adelaide CBD and Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills, hosting race starts for the first time.
The 2012 Santos Tour Down Under will be held from 15 to 22 January, 2012.
The UCI WorldTour event will also return to the seaside town of Victor Harbor, which it last visited in 2009 and the wine region of the Clare Valley, which hosted a stage start in 2010.
Santos Tour Down Under, Race Director, Mike Turtur, said the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under was “shaping up to be one of the most challenging and exciting events in the history of the race”.
“The 2012 event includes new starts, a return to popular locations and for the first time, a thrilling Jayco Stage 5 hilltop finish at the top of Old Willunga Hill.”
Mr Turtur also announced a new classification process would be used for the first time for ŠKODA King of the Mountain climbs.
“Each ŠKODA King of the Mountain climb has been given a rating between 1 and 3 which will determine its level of difficulty. Category 1 will cover the hardest climbs, Menglers Hill in the Barossa and Old Willunga Hill,” he said.
“This new classification will reward cyclists for tackling the hardest climbs and is expected to result in some fierce competition.”
The Santos Tour Down Under was at its electrifying best this year, with record crowds of more than 782,000 people lining the streets of Adelaide and regional South Australia.
“It was fantastic to welcome such a high calibre of cyclists to South Australia and to see rising Australia talent, including eventual winner Cameron Meyer, in action.”
“I look forward to January and once again welcoming some of the world’s best cyclists to South Australia.”
2012 Santos Tour Down Under Race Routes:
Sunday, 15 January - Down Under Classic – Rymill Park, Adelaide (51km)
Monday, 16 January – Rest Day
Tuesday, 17 January – Stage 1 – Prospect to Clare (149km)
Wednesday, 18 January – Stage 2 – Lobethal to Stirling (148km)
Thursday, 19 January – Colemans Group Stage 3 – Unley to Victor Harbor (134.5km)
Friday, 20 January – Bupa Stage 4 – Norwood to Tanunda (130km)
Saturday, 21 January – Jayco Stage 5 – McLaren Vale to Old Willunga Hill (151.5km)
Sunday, 22 January – Stage 6, Adelaide City Council Street Circuit - Elder Park, Adelaide (51km)
The 2012 Santos Tour Down Under will be held in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 15-22 January 2012. For more information visit www.tourdownunder.com.au