The 2017 Tour Down Under will start with a 145 km stage from Unley to Lyndoch as race organisers announced at an event in Adelaide on Monday morning. The 19th edition of the race will take place from January 17-22 in South Australia. The routes for the UCI ranked Santos Women's Tour, held January 14-17, are to be announced later in the year.
The People's Choice Classic, held on January 15, is again the precursor to the WorldTour stage race and will take place on a new circuit around the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.
"I am really pleased with the course we have set for 2017," said Mike Turtur. "For the first time the peloton will depart Unley and travel north directly through the city, past the Tour Village and along King William Road and onto O'Connell Street in race neutral. We are encouraging and want all of the businesses to come out and cheer on the peloton."
Having hosted the finish of stage 1 last year, the Barossa town of Lyndoch has been selected as the site of the first stage finish again although the race will depart from Unley rather than Prospect.
Further changes to the race route in 2016 are evident on stage 2 which sees Stirling, traditionally a finish location, hosting the start of the stage with the peloton completing five laps of the circuit before heading north through the Adelaide Hills via Norton Summit to Paracombe. Rohan Dennis won the stage to Paracombe in 2015 when the riders hurtled down the Gorge road before the climb to the finish but in 2016 the peloton will climb the Gorge on what will be the first selective finish of the race.
As it did in 2016, Glenelg hosts the start of stage 3 but the 144km stage will head south to Victor Harbour where the peloton will face a new 13km finishing circuit four times for the first time in what is the southern most finish of the 207 edition. Norwood has again been selected as the start town of stage 4 with Campbelltown returning as stage finish although the Corkscrew has been omitted for 2017.
The queen stage of the race remains the 151.5km McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill stage which has been won by Richie Porte for three years running. The race then concludes with a 90km circuit race through the Adelaide CBD.
The 2016 Tour Down Under was won by Orica-BikeExchange's Simon Gerrans for a record fourth time.
2016 Tour Down Under (January 17-22)
Saturday, January 15 – People's Choice Classic: 50.6km
Monday, January 17 – Stage 1: Unley to Lyndoch, 145km
Tuesday, January 18 – Stage 2: Stirling – Paracombe, 148.5km
Wednesday, January 19 – Stage 3: Glenelg to Victor Harbor, 144km
Thursday, January 20 – Stage 4: Norwood to Campbelltown, 149.5km
Friday, January 21 – Stage 5: McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill, 151.5km
Saturday, January 22 – Stage 6: Adelaide Street Circuit, 90km