Stage 1 is for the sprinters. The only obstacle in the route – Checker Hill: 1.7 kilometres at 7.9% and a steepest section of 14.2% – should not worry the likes of Marcel Kittel since the finish line is at 30 kilometres.
The Adelaide Hills are the backdrop for stage 2, a hilly ride in 150.5 kilometres. The race closes with a circuit containing two climbs. One is 4 kilometres at 3.5% and the other 2 kilometres at 3.5%, while the finish is atop of the latter. The circuit is to be taken three times.
The predominantly flat roads in stage 3 offer a deceiving perspective. With a steep climb in the finale this one is likely to shake up the overall. In 1.2 kilometres 118 height-metres are to be climbed, meaning an average grade 9.9%. Once atop there is only 300 metres left.
According to scripture, stage 4 is flat, but one may wonder whether Marcel Kittel will win the sprint. The terrain would suit John Degenkolb better, but his colleague at Giant is not here. The last 40 kilometres have three ascent on offer. Sellicks Hill is 5 kilometres at 2% and near Meadows the road goes up by 2% for 19 kilometres. With 8 kilometres left a 800 metres hill at 7% is the last obstacle. So if teams wan to get rid of anti-climber Kittel, they have to speed op these hills like madmen. Could be a Mark Renshaw-finish…
Being in all last three editions, the 5th stage is a Tour Dow Under regular, Opening with a round containing a coastal-section (beware of cross-winds!) that is to be taken three times, the race usually unfolds in round two. This 22.4 kilometres round offers Willunga Hill (3 kilometres at 7%) twice and the second time the finish lies atop.
Since stage 6 is a flat criterium, GC-men should be at the fore at Willunga Hill.
Tour Down Under 2015: Images and more
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